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Wierd Worms

Discussion in 'Name that Critter' started by chuck41, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. chuck41

    chuck41 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hot Springs, Arkansas
    Saw some strange worm-like creatures on night dive in Cozumel last month. They were at about 30 ft on reef and were like coil springs. Bodies were white and they were coiled up about 3/4" in diameter and 3" long. Bodies were about size of a thick pencil lead and they were swimming by spiraling their way through the water, kinda like a corkscrew. Anyone familiar with these things? Unfortunately I failed to take a picture of them.
    Also found an interesting little crablike critter that I did get a picture of. Included as attachment. I thought it was just a rock until it moved and I saw the eyes. :06:
  2. Allison Finch

    Allison Finch Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
    Slipper lobster AKA pillow lobster also known as a shovel nosed lobster. YUM!!
  3. Tom Smedley

    Tom Smedley Tommy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Montgomery, AL
    Your picture appears to be a Scalloped Slipper Lobster - Parribacus antarcticus.

  4. archman

    archman Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Ew gross... worms. This is one of the reasons I rarely night dive; too much "crud" in the water.

    Anyways, the little squigglies are mostly polychaete worms. Some of them are merely nighttime zooplankton, swimming around catching food along with everyone else. Others are the detached reproductive "epitoke" of bottom-dwelling worms. The epitoke actively swims towards the surface (or dive lights too I suppose) where it can release its gametes to best effect. This saves the "parent" the risk of getting eaten.

    The photo you have is of a scyllarid, commonly referred to as "spanish" or "slipper" lobsters. They're kinda funny looking like that.
  5. chuck41

    chuck41 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hot Springs, Arkansas
    Many thanks. I knew I had seen a picture of the shellfish before but couldn't remember what it was. The worm-like things really had me confused though. Going to Roatan in May. Perhaps I will have other strange encounters.

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