Category Archives: Macro

Life among the Bubbles

Bubble Coral Shrimp - Vir philippinensis
Bubble Coral Shrimp – Vir philippinensis
Bubble CoralPlerogyra sinuosa

Bubble Coral ShrimpVir philippinensis
Like all coral associated shrimps, the limit between, parasitism and mutual symbiosis, is pretty thin. Probably that the shrimp, in exchange of food and shelter, helps fight off some small parasites, such as flat worms, coral eating nudies, some sponges or algae that would compete with the corals. or even clean the coral off any detritus, sand…

Bubble CoralPlerogyra sinuosa
The vesicles resembling bubbles up to 1 in in diameter. These enlarge during the day but retract to a certain extent during the night to expose the polyps and their tentacles. It obtains most of its nutritional needs from the symbiotic dinoflagellates that live inside its soft tissues including the walls of the vesicles. These photosynthetic organisms provide the coral with organic carbon and nitrogen, sometimes providing up to 90% of their host’s energy needs for metabolism and growth. Its remaining needs are met by the planktonic organisms caught by the polyps at night.

Etymology
Vir – from Latin ‘man’
philippinensis –  Means “from the Philippines”
Plerogyra Plero from Latin ‘almost’ + gyra, alteration of Greek gŷros ‘circle’ or ’round’
sinuosa – Latin ‘winding’

Painted Shielded Horns

Thecacera picta - Nudibranch
Thecacera picta – Nudibranch

Thecacera picta – Nudibranch –
They are almost clear, you can see its internal organs through the translucent body. A characteristic feature of this genus are the long horns on its back, which can be extended and retracted. Most of the nudibranchs with feathery gills have them near the back of the body, but here they’re closer to the front.

Etymology
Thecacera. From Greek ‘theke’, a receptacle, a scabbard or sheath + ‘kerós’, horn, for the shielded rhinophores.
picta – From Latin ‘pictus’ for painted, colored, decorated

A rhinophore is one of a pair of chemosensory rod-shaped structures which are the most prominent part of the external head anatomy in nudibranchs.

Etymology
Rhinophore – relates to the function as an organ of “smell”. A mixed Latin and Greek word meaning “carrying noses” – “Rhino-” means nose from Ancient Greek ‘rhis’ and from its genitive rhinos. “Phore” means “to bear” from New Latin -‘phorus’ and from Greek -phoros “bearing”, a derivative of phérein.

Hardest hitters on Earth.

Not Muhammad Ali – The Peacock Mantis Shrimp

Peacock Mantis Shrimp - Odontodactylus Scyallarus
Peacock Mantis Shrimp – Odontodactylus Scyallarus

Peacock Mantis ShrimpOdontodactylus Scyallarus – a smasher, with club-shaped raptorial appendages. An active hunter, it prefers gastropods, crustaceans, and bivalves, and will repeatedly smash its prey until it can gain access to the soft tissue for consumption. It is reported to have a “punch” of over 50 miles per hour, this is the fastest recorded punch of any living animal.

Here is an interesting read about their clubbing arms:

The stomatopod dactyl club: a formidable damage-tolerant biological hammer. The dactyl clubs exhibit an impressive set of characteristics adapted for surviving high-velocity impacts on the heavily mineralized prey on which they feed. Consisting of a multiphase composite of oriented crystalline hydroxyapatite and amorphous calcium phosphate and carbonate, in conjunction with a highly expanded helicoidal organization of the fibrillar chitinous organic matrix, these structures display several effective lines of defense against catastrophic failure during repetitive high-energy loading events.

Mantis Shrimp Eyes are also Highly unique in the animal kingdom.
Its specialized eyes can pick up several types of light, including infrared and ultraviolet, and its color vision tops ours. It can also see a type of polarized light that no other animal is known to be able to detect. The key to the extraordinary vision is in the structure of its eyes, which consist of six rows of numerous smaller eyes called ommatidia. It is the way the way light-sensing cells in some ommatidia are arranged. They sit at just the angle to convert circularly polarized light (CPL)–a type of light wave that travels in a spiral–to a form that other cells underneath can detect.

Etymology:

  • Odonto from Greek “having teeth” and Greek daktylos “finger, toe”
  • Scyllarus from Greek skyllaros, kyllaros “hermit crab” + -idae

Renate Khalaf’s Cleaner Shrimp

Renate Khalaf's Cleaner Shrimp - Urocaridella renatekhalafae
Renate Khalaf’s Cleaner Shrimp – Urocaridella renatekhalafae

Renate Khalaf’s Cleaner ShrimpUrocaridella renatekhalafae – a clear cleaner shrimp in the family Palaemonidae. It was identified as a species new to science in 2018, and was named in honor of the discoverer’s mother, Renate Khalaf.

Two important notes:
1. Shows that not everything you see has been identified yet
2. That you can name thing for your mom.

Etomology – Oura Greek meaning “tail” and Latin Carid meaning “crustacean”

Spotted Porcelain Crab

Spotted Porcelain Crab, Neopetrolisthes maculata

Spotted Porcelain Crab –  Neopetrolisthes maculata, lives as commensal in large sea anemones. Sitting among the stinging tentacles and filtering planktonic food from the currents.

Entomology Neopetrolisthes – neo Greek for “new”, petro – Latin & Greek for “rock”, olisthes – L & G for “slippery”
Entomology Maculata comes from the Latin root macula, meaning “spot, stain”

Ambon Crinoid Shrimp a master class in camouflage

Amboinensis Crinoid Shrimp - Periclimenes amboinensis
Amboinensis Crinoid Shrimp – Periclimenes amboinensis

Ambon Crinoid Shrimp or Feather Star ShrimpPericlimenes amboinensis – Hiding among the arms of the crinoid this little shrimp wondered if I could see him.

Small in size, between 1 – 1.5 cm, they can be highly variable in colors – Yellow, White,Black,Blue,Orange,Green,Brown and in combination of colors, all depending on the host Crinoid that it lives on, for camouflage.

Crinoids, also known as “feather stars” or comatulids are harmless, colorful creatures. They are among the most ancient and primitive of ocean invertebrates. Crinoids are Echinoderms (Phylum Echinodermata, meaning “spiny skin”). To feed, they extend their arms to catch bits of plankton or detritus (waste matter) passing in the current, making them “suspension feeders”.

Etymology of amboinensis Means “from Ambon” the island in the Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia.

Etymology of Crinoid – Greek word krinon, “a lily”, and eidos, “form”

Whitemargin Stargazer Fish

WhitemMargin Stargazer - Uranoscopus sulphureus
Whitemargin Stargaser look’n up at ya

Whitemargin Stargazer fishUranoscopus sulphureus – Stargazers are not a fish to mess with. They have double-grooved poison spines behind the operculum and above the pectoral fins and wounds can be quite serious. Stargazer possess electric organs located in a specialized pouch behind the eyes and can discharge up to 50 volts, depending on the temperature of the water at the time! Because stargazers are ambush predators which camouflage themselves and some can deliver both venom and electric shocks, they have been called “the meanest things in creation”. The fish is often locally known as the mother-in-law fish.

Inhabits reef flats but is rarely seen because it lies buried in the bottom most of the time, with only the eyes showing. When buried, the cirri on the edge of the mouth serve to keep out the sand during respiration. The oral lure is used to attract the prey within striking range of the mouth.

This little fellow was only about 15cm long but they get to a maximum length of 45.0 cm.

Etymology: Uranoscopus: Greek, ouranos = sky + Greek skopein = to watch

Spider Decorator Crab

Spider Decorator Crab - Camposcia rutusa
Spider Decorator Crab – Camposcia rutusa

Spider Decorator CrabCamposcia retusa
The choice of noxious or stinging organisms as decorations implies that attaching them provides protection from predators by aposematism (warning) rather than by crypsis (camouflage), and there is direct observational evidence for this, e.g. that octopuses in tanks avoided decorated crabs. The relationship of crab and organisms such as sea anemones used as decoration may be mutualistic, offering protection to the crab and food to the anemone.

The crab tears a piece of adornment in its claws, chews it, and then rubs it firmly on its body until it catches on the “Velcro-like hooked setae”, curved hairs which permit camouflage materials to be attached. The carefully chosen decoration is supplemented by cryptic behavior, such as remaining still by day, and freezing when predators approach.

Yellow Barred Jawfish

Yellowbarred Jawfish - Opistognathus randalli
Yellowbarred Jawfish – Opistognathus randalli


Yellowbarred – Tiger – Gold specs jawfish, Opistognathus randalli
Found singly with just his head showing in rock lined burrows on sand and rubble areas. They feed mainly on benthic crustaceans, invertebrates and zooplankton.

Jawfish are usually found in self-constructed burrows with just the head showing waiting for their prey, they have huge mouths for the size of head.
After mating the males incubate the eggs in their mouths!

Dancing Chinese Dragon

The Golden Fireworm - Chloeia flava
Golden Fireworm – Chloeia flava

The Golden FirewormChloeia flava#PolychaeteA segmented #bristleworm belonging to the family #Amphinomidae. They have an elongated body made of 37 visible segments, each of them has a distinctive ocelli (simple eye), which is purple or dark color with a white outline and placed in the middle of the upper side. Small gills are present on both external side of the back just before the bristles and on almost all the segments.The body is covered laterally with calcareous spines or setae, they have bristle aspect which are whitish, fine, sharp and venomous.