Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Aquarium sampler

The beasties in my aquarium have been busy these last few days, happy with a new batch of fuzzy eelgrass, cleaning barnacled clamshells, and taking care of their family responsibilities. (Mating, laying, and toting eggs.)  I had a list of photos I needed to take: a shrimp eating bubble shell eggs, the one-sided crab cramming food into his mouth with one pincer, a huge, dark green amphipod, the leafy hornmouth snail growing wings, a three-armed starfish, and Barney, in his brand-new outfit.

Two out of six ain't bad.

Barney wasn't co-operating; he went and hid at the back of the tank, but I only needed his jacket, after all.

"Look, Ma, no barnacles!"

It must be nice to be able to slough off old skin, and get an all-new, younger complexion again. Here's Barney, as he was a month ago:

Barnacles and algae on his back

And just look at him now!

Inside one of the barnacled clamshells that I  brought for the leafy hornmouth, I found a baby starfish with only three arms. I don't know if he's sick, and has detached the damaged arms, or if something tried to eat him. But he has a new, growing stub of a fourth arm, and seems contented in a hospital tank. If he survives, I'll take him back to the beach; we need all the immune starfish we can get.

He's an inch across.

I watched a mid-size shrimp eating bubble shell eggs. She seemed to like the jelly they're encased in; every so often, she'd spit out a whole yellow egg, and it would drift away. The hermits eat the eggs, jelly and all.

Eggs in aspic?

And to make up for the missing amphipods, etcetera, here are a few other critters:

Nassa snail, balanced on the tip of a barnacled clamshell

Hydroids, Obelia sp. The hermits eat these as soon as they finish the diatom masses.


And I still have four photos on my list. I'll try again tomorrow.


  1. I always look forward to your macros, but that dorsal view of the hermit is perfectly detailed, down to the grains of sand sitting in the crevices of his shell. (you must've had him in shallow water to get that!)

  2. He was in the aquarium, as usual, but less than an inch from the front wall. And I used a slave flash from the side, which brings out detail.


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