Category Archives: Macro

Frida has nothing on these Cirri

Secretary blenny -  Acanthemblemaria maria
Secretary blenny – Acanthemblemaria maria

Blenny Fact:
The eyebrow like appendages called cirri are used to feel for pressure waves of potential predators.

Secretary blennyAcanthemblemaria maria
Here the Secretary blenny has the cirri above the eye (a supraorbital cirrus.)
Acanthemblemaria maria lives in a hole in a colonial coral or an empty serpulid worm tube. It is often associated with small brain corals, sea fans, sea whips and sea urchins. They are an ambush predator, remaining concealed in its lair with only its head projecting, until a copepod or other small invertebrate prey approaches. At this stage, it darts out, grabs the prey and retreats into its home. The eggs are laid in the lair and are tended by the male, the female taking no part in their care.

Etymology
Acanthemblemaria: Greek akantha = ‘thorn’ + Greek, emblema, –atos = ‘anything that is nailed, knocked in’
maria: Latin = ‘Mary’
Cirri – Latin cirrus = ‘a curl-like tuft or fringe’

People say spiders are scary, but I am glad I don’t have crinoids hiding all over my house.

Liparometra regalis - Crinoidia - Feather Stars
Liparometra regalis Crinoidia – Feather Stars

Liparometra regalisCrinoidia Feather Stars

Etymology
regalis – Latin = ‘of or pertaining to a king’
Crinoidea – Greek from krinon – ‘a lily’

Crynoid Facts:

  • They’re not plants – Despite their resemblance to flowers, are not plants. They are echinoderms – animals characterized by their rough, spiny surface and 5 fold symmetry.
  • They’re not starfish – They are related to starfish in that they are both echinoids. Like starfish, Crinoids usually have 5 fold symmetry.
  • They eat with their arms – They are filter feeder and they wave their feathery arms which are covered with a sticky mucus to capture food -floating detritus. The feathery arms have growths called pinnules. The pinnules have rows of tube feet on each side of a groove running down the center. The tube feet that cover the arms pass the food to the center where it is put into their mouth.
  • Crinoids are old… really really old – They have been around since the Ordovician period – 490 million years ago. Paleontologists however, think they could be even older than that.
  • You’re more likely to find a crinoid fossil than you are living crinoid – Crinoids today are relatively rare however they were once plentiful and diverse. These echinoderms were at their height during the Paleozoic era (544 to 245 million years ago ). They could be found all over the world, creating forests on the floor of the shallow seas of this time period. There were so many in places, that thick limestone beds were formed almost entirely from their body parts piled on top of each other.

Why would anyone get excited about T. rex, when you have crinoids !

Robert Bakker – paleontologist

An orange cave dweller sitting where it shouldn’t be

Orange cup coral - Tubastraea Coccinea
Orange cup coral – Tubastraea Coccinea

Orange cup coralTubastraea Coccinea
belongs to a group of corals known as large-polyp stony corals. This non-reef building coral extends beautiful translucent tentacles at night. Tubastraea coccinea is heterotrophic and does not contain zooxanthellae in its tissues as many tropical corals do, allowing it to grow in complete darkness as long as it can capture enough food, namely plankton.

It is nice to see Tabastrea Coccinea in its natural environment. OCC has been introduced to all continents except Antarctica and is thought to compete with native benthic invertebrates for space and to compromise their communities. The reduction of native sponges and native corals could also have significant flow-on effects for entire ecosystems. OCC was introduced in the Caribbean in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s at Curaçao and/or Puerto Rico probably transported by fouled vessels, oil and gas platforms, artificial reef structures, or ballast waters.

Etymology
Tubus = tube; +astrea = Astrea – Astraea, daughter of Zeus and Themis, a goddess of justice named after the stars.
coccineus = Latin meaning ‘red like a berry’, scarlet.

The many footed

Porous sea rodPseudoplexaura porosa
The holes from which the polyps project are large and crowded together, and are arranged spirally up the branches. The polyps overlap each other, each one having eight tentacles. The polyps spread out their tentacles to feed on plankton both day and night. The octocoral has symbionts with zooxanthellae that inhabit the tissues.

The polyps are armed with nematocysts (stinging cells) and can be retracted into the branches defensively. Pseudoplexaura porosa has few predators that feed on it including the flamingo tongue snail, nudibranchs, butterflyfish and some angelfish.

Individual colonies of P. porosa are either male or female. On particular nights about five days after a full moon in summer, mature colonies liberate gametes into the sea. Planula larvae that develop from fertilized eggs sink to the seabed five days later and undergo metamorphosis to found new colonies. These are soon colonized by zooxanthellae and grow by budding of new polyps. Besides growing asexually and reproducing sexually, pieces of this coral may detach from the parent colony and become fixed to substrate to create a new colony. P. porosa can live for several decades, and the greatest cause of mortality is detachment from the seabed during tropical storms

Etymology
pseudo – Greek ‘false, lying’ +plex – Latin ‘to plait’ a single length of flexible material made up of three or more interlaced strands; a braid.
porosa – Latin porus ‘an opening’

Discover your Adventure with us!

Pink Pepé Le Pew

Pink Skunk clownfish - Amphiprion Perideraion
Pink Skunk clownfish – Amphiprion Perideraion

Pink Skunk clownfishAmphiprion Perideraion
The Pink Skunk is the only species of anemonefish to primarily feed on algae.

The magnificent sea anemoneHeteractis Magnifica – has two feeding methods. The first one is through the photosynthesis of its symbiotic zooxanthellae, living in its tissues, the second by capturing its prey with its tentacles that allow it to immobilize its prey (small invertebrates, fry or juvenile fish) See also https://marinebiology.org/2019/01/19/clarks/

Etymology:
Amphiprion: Greek, amphi = on both sides + Greek, prion, -onos = saw

This Orangutan also lives in a Bubble

Orangutan Crab in Bubble Coral, Achaeus japonicus in Plerogyra sinuosa
Orangutan Crab in Bubble Coral, Achaeus japonicus in Plerogyra sinuosa

Orangutan Crab Achaeus japonicus
“orangutan” comes from the Malay words “orang” (man) and “(h)utan” (forest).  Hence, “man of the forest,” and these crabs really seem to look like their Terra-based namesakes. Not only do they resemble Orang-utans with their hair, but they also seem to sway their front legs from side to side in a very good imitation of an this great ape!!
It is frequently, but not always, found in association with the bubble coral Plerogyra sinuosa

Etymology:
japonicus – Latin, literally ‘Japanese’
The Achaeus Greek  – Ἀχαιοί, were one of the four major tribes into which the people of Classical Greece divided themselves (along with the Aeolians, Ionians and Dorians)

Crawling Rainbow

Glossodoris Cincta Nudibranch
Glossodoris Cincta Nudibranch

Glossodoris Cincta – Nudibranch
Feeds on sponges. When crawling, the gills make vibrating movements. When provoked, it discharges a white fluid from mantle dermal formations – in which they store distasteful chemicals from their food sponges to use defensively.

Etymology
Glosso= Greek ‘singular’ + dorís= ‘a nymph’, one of the daughters of Oceanus
cinctus= Greek ‘to put a belt around’

Scrambled Egg nudibranch

Sky Blue Phyllidia Nudibranch - Phyllidia varicosa -
Sky Blue Phyllidia Nudibranch – Phyllidia varicosa –

Sky Blue Phyllidia NudibranchPhyllidia varicosa
Probably the most frequently seen tropical Indo-Pacific nudibranchs. The phyllidiids are a group of firm, tough-bodied dorids in which the usual circlet of gills are replaced by leaf like secondary gills under the mantle skirt. It is sometimes called the “scrambled egg nudibranch.” These sea slugs are masters of chemical defense and contain a chemical mucus poisonous to fish and crustaceans. Scientists named it 9-isocyanopupukeane after the dive site, Pupukea, on O`ahu’s north shore. They are capable of killing all life in the aquarium if stressed in any way. They have no known predators.

Etymology
Phyllidium, from the Greek phyllos = ‘leaf’
verrucosa = from Greek ‘wart-like’

Where is Adam?

Ambon Crinoid Shrimp on Crinoid
Ambon Crinoid Shrimp on Crinoid

Ambon Crinoid Shrimp – “Laomenes Amboinensis sp group”
Trying to identify which species of shrimp this is has proved to be more difficult then I desired. It has become a field of rabbit holes. Each time thinking that I found it it turn out No. I only have one photo of this fellow. To date, nine valid species are known in this genus and they show a wide diversity of morphological features such as shape of cornea and eyestalk, chelipeds and dactyli of ambulatory pereiopods, coloration and host specificity. Although many underwater photographs of these colorful shrimps are available in guide books, magazines and internet, there are rather few taxonomic reports on the species of this genus and most species only have limited confirmed geographical records. Moreover, it is highly likely that more species are present in Laomenes.

Etymology:
In Greek mythology Laomenes is a son of Heracles and Oreia, daughter of Thespius, king of Thespiae, and Megamede; during his hunt for the lion of Cithaeron to free Thespiae from this scourge, Herakles stayed with Thespius for 2 months, as a result all 50 daughters of Thespius and Megamede bore him a son each (except the oldest, who produced twin boys); Laomenes was one of these 51 boys.
 Ambon Island is part of the Maluku Islands of Indonesia +ensis, Latin denoting origin

This is the true color of the shrimp and the crinoid host. I have decided to name him “Skinny Adam L”.

It is a lighter shade red than Maroon 5.

Jon B, jason B said “for crinoid out loud that is a bad joke”.

tiny Warty Frogfish

Juvenile Warty Frogfish or Clown Frogfish - Antennarius maculatus
Warty Frogfish or Clown Frogfish – Antennarius maculatus

Juvenile Warty Frogfish or Clown FrogfishAntennarius maculatus
You can tell a Warty Frogfish from the painted frog fish by the skin being very warty (not so much as still juvenile) and a large triangle patch starting at the eye. The warty frogfish exhibits biofluorescence, that is, when illuminated by blue or ultraviolet light, it re-emits it as red, and appears differently than under white light illumination. Biofluorescence may assist intraspecific communication and camouflage.

Etymology
antenna – Latin =’ a sensory appendage on the head’ refering to the fish’s lure, + arius – Latin = ‘pertaining to’
maculatus – Latin = ‘spot, stain’