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By Charles & Linda Raabe
Mactan Island, The Philippines
© 2009  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
 


     Cephalochordata -  Known as lancelets or as amphioxus (from the Greek for "both [ends] pointed.  Harmless sand bed dwelling animals that feed by taking in water through the mouth, which is drawn in by the beating of cilia located on the wheel organ, a set of ridges lying inside the mouth. The water is first filtered by the oral cirri, slender projections that surround the opening of the mouth.
 Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe

     Foraminiferans  - The branching white type are usualy mistaken for a sponge, if you look closely you can see what looks like thin hairs at the ends of the stalks, these are the Rhizpodia which collect food particles, they also can be red and are usualy only a single stubby branch no more than 1/4 inch tall, which at first led me to believe they were a type of branching coraline algae.  As you can see, this animal classification has many members which do not resemble each other much. Click on the link for a detailed article on this family group.
    Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo Credit: Charles Raabe  
 Photo Credit: Charles Raabe   Photo Credit : Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe


   SEA SPIDERS - Most that are found in our tanks are very small and difficult to see, they are little predators usualy having a specific prey species, most do not last long in our systems. Click on the link for a detailed article on this species.  Sea Spiders in the news.

    Photo by Charles Raabe   

   SYNAPTID SEA CUCUMBER  (medussa worms) -  Same Family as sea cucumbers, but does not have the "feet" that sea cucumbers do, I find a variety of this species in the grass beds here, all seem to be harmless detritus feeders, spending their day just mopping up the grass and rocks for organic matter.

  Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by : Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe
  Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe

   SEA CUCUMBERS - Its all but impossible to get a species specific ID on any but the most popular species that are offered for sale. From time to time you may find one that has hitch hiked in on some live rock or even sand. All of which can be considered harmless detritus feeders and should pose no problem as long as certain safe guards are in place to prevent their being harmed by pump inlets.

        Some species are extremely toxic

    CTENOPHORES -  I have only ever found or seen this creature living on the undersides of leather corals, it is very transparent and usualy only the very long stringy feathery feeding aparatus is noticed as it waves outstretched into the currents. Harmless filter feeder and will do no harm to the corals it hides under.
     
  Only the feeding tentacles are seen usualy    

    HYDROIDS -  They can be found in many sizes and forms, some as individuals, some as colonial groups. They do not make welcome tank guests due to their strong stinging abilities and rapid population growths. While some of the larger types can be combatted through physical removal, its all but impossible to remove the very small species, thankfully though most will die off as their food sources are consumed, can be nerve wracking to wait for that to happen though.

  Not good!   Fast spreader, will out sting most everything   
  Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe
  Photo by Andrew Berry   Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe
  Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe
  Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe

        
  JELLYFISH - and their Schyphostome reproductive polyps which will bud off small jellyfish. The polyps are reported to able to inflict a very nasty sting with their nematocysts, so be careful in handling them. They are also extremely difficult to eradicate. Most hobbyist confuse the structures for hydroids when in fact there are numerous species of jellyfish which reproduce in this anchored polyp form.
          
Jellyfish reproduction shown in the below series of six photos, which results in a free swimming Cassiopeia andromeda 
  Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe
  Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe

     Jellyfish Schyphostome (reproductive polyps)
    This is how new jellies are released / created
    The Jellyfish  Cladonema sp.
  Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe
 

    CLAMS - These tend to be a very frequent find on live rock and for the most part, do well in a reef tank, all of which are harmless phytoplanktonic feeders.
 
      Below: A member of the
Arciidae family
  Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe
     Various other species:
  Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe
  Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Charles Raabe
    
swimming file clam in the family Limidae
 
    BARNACLES - Not a commonly found animal as they do not seem to do well over the long term in most systems. Both species shown have attached to corals, the first, causing no real harm, the second though is large enough to suppress the coral polyp and will most likely be a stress factor. While a few small species seems to cause the coral no harm, I would imagine if they were able to breed prolifically in an enclosed system they could start to cause coral health issues. Overall though, a harmless filter feeding and interesting to watch as they fan the water in an open/close motion while being able to turn the fan at will to take advantage of differing water currents.
 
 Photo by Charles Raabe   Photo by Scott (Dentoid)  
 

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