Before the mishap with the pump, there were thirty hermits in the tank, Hairies, Grainy hands, and a bunch of tiny ones, possibly Greenmarks. I took them all out and counted them tonight; twenty-five survived. They look healthy; bright-eyed, curious and lively.
And a fair number are in berry, carrying developing eggs.
|In berry. She's carrying reddish eggs on the side of her cephalothorax. The eggs are new; the mass is still small.|
After the new pump was installed several of the hermits molted the same day. This would be the moment when they were able to mate; once their new exoskeleton has hardened, it is again impossible.
|Very tiny pale blue and green hermit. Probably recently molted, as the colour darkens later on.|
|Another female, a Hairy hermit, in berry.|
|A small hermit. I love the graceful "flags" they are always waving. The one on the left (our left) is probably folded back at the moment.|
When the eggs mature and are released, the hatchlings will be planktonic swimmers called zoeas. Once again, they will probably be too small to survive in a tank with a pump and filter.
Some critters do breed well in the tank; I'll talk about them tomorrow.