Hitchhiker Guide

 

 

MOLLUSKS

 

 

Atlantic Wing Oyster

Pteria colymbus

Long dark wing like valves extend from hinge.

 

Atlantic Thorny Oyster

Spondylus americanus

Numerous scattered spines cover surface, shells vary in color from white, yellow, orange, red and purple but generally overgrown by other organisms.

 

Antillean Fileclam

Limaria pellucida

Mantle red, orange or white with white to pinkish tentacles, white valves of unequal size sculpted with small uneven radiating ribs.

 

 

 

 

 

Common Octopus

Octopus vulgaris

Arms up to 3 or 4 times the length of the body, reddish brown reticulated pattern is often displayed can alter colors and patterns quickly.

 

Atlantic Pygmy Octopus

Octopus joubini

Small, reddish to orangish brown with pale banding across the arms, skin texture smooth.

 

Florida Regal Sea Goddess

Felimare picta

Navy Blue to deep purple with brilliant yellow to gold irregular stripes, large blue and gold featherlike gill branches.

 

 

 

 

 

Cancellate Fleshy Limpet

Lucapina suffuse

Slightly depressed oblong shell with many alternating large and small ribs and a finely toothed margin, dark edged keyhole slightly off center, fleshy cream to orange mantle.

 

Key Hole Limpet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Indian Star Snail

Lithopoma tectum

High conical shell with 7 to 8 whorls, irregular axial ribs form knobs on the shoulders, often encrusted with coralline algae.

 

Chocolate Lined Top Snail

Calliostoma javanicum

Numerous thin tan, slightly raised and occasionally beaded ribs separated by well-defined chocolate brown lines, occasional reddish orange highlights.

 

Florida Cone

Conus flordanus

Yellowish brown shell with white and brown blotches, occasionally encircled with several lines composed of dashes and wide pale bands.

 

 

 

 

 

Lace Murex

Chicoreus dilectus

Shell with 3 prominent rows of leaf like projections.

 

Lightning Whelk

Busycon sinstrum

Low conical spiral with nodules on the shoulder of each whorl, long oval aperture with slightly twisted canal.

 

True Tulip

Fasciolaria tulipa

Spindle shaped shell gray, green or brown with thin dark spiral stripes and longitudinal lines often with black or tan blotches. Body red brown or black with white speckles.

 

 

 

 

 

Horse Conch

 

Stocky Cerith

 

Longspine Star Snail

Astralium phoebium

Flat star shaped shell with 6 or 7 whorls, large flat triangular spines around periphery. Silvery white to whitish yellow with tan orange or pinkish blotches.

Banded Tulip Snail

 

Warty Dendrodoris

Dendrodoris warta

Large oval with concentrated covering of large rounded tubercles, highly ruffled mantle skirt, large gill structure same color as body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANEMONES

 

 

Branching Anemone

Lubrunia danae

Stubby branching pseudotentacles with prominent nematocyst-bearing knobs, shades of brown to gray to blue-green with lighter markings.

 

Corkscrew Anemone

Bartholomea annulata

Numerous long thin translucent gray or greenish tentacles with whitish corkscrew like markings.

 

Light Bulb Anemone

Undetermined

Distinctive translucent bulb-shaped tentacles tipped with thin elongated curling tips, bands and shades or green tan and white.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CORALS

 

 

Hidden Cup Coral

Phyllangia Americana

Colonies form small encrusting groups of polyps. Six protruding primary and six somewhat smaller secondary septa around the rims. Brown color ranging from yellow-brown to brown to red-brown.

 

Rose Coral

Manicina areolata

Brown to yellow-brown to gray and green. Ridges and valleys often contrasting shades or different colors.

 

 Lesser Star Coral

Siderastrea radians

 

 

 

 

 

Robust Ivory Tree Coral

Oculina robusta

 

Branching Fire Coral

Millepora alcicornis

 

Red Polyp Octocoral

Swiftia exserta

 

 

 

 

 

Tube Coral

Cladocora arbuscla

Colonies form small densely branching clumps. Branches have fine ridges running their length, and each ends with a singular corallite. Tan to golden brown and dark brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPONGES

 

 


Red Boring Sponge

Cliona delitrix

Bright Red to Reddish Brown encrusts and bores into coral heads and rocks.

 

Viscous Sponge

Brown to tan encrusting sponge resembles the flow of viscous material.

 


 

 

 

 

 

Orange Icing Sponge

Mycale laevis

Porous bright orange encrusting sponge.

 

Star Encrusting Sponge

Halisarca caerulea

Thin encrusting red, blue lavender or gray sponge with star shaped canals radiating from exocurrent openings.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CRABS

 

 

Coral Clinging Crab

Mithrax hispidus

Tan to red carapace and walking legs often covered with sponge and algae, first section of stout claw arms heavily spined, tubercles around eyes.

 

 


Emerald Crab,

Green Clinging Crab

Mithraculus sculptus

Olive green carapace and appendages back covered with smooth round nodules, walking legs heavily bristled.

 


Red Mythrax Crab,

Red-Ridged Clinging Crab

Mithraculus forceps

Shiny oval carapace with three foreward angling groves orange, brown, red to olive bristled walking legs, stout claw arms.

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Porcelain Crab

Petrolisthes caribensis

Pale blue ridgid carpace, claw arms and upper legs with red-brown markings forming wavy tranverse linines, lower legs banded.

 

Redback Porcelain Crab

Petrolisthes politus

Smooth shiny brownish carapace with numerous small blue spots, upper walking legs have spines bristles and reddish joints, claw arms blue with red highlights, red claw tips.

 

Gorilla Crab or Teddy Bear Crab

 

 

 

 

 

Yellowline Arrow Crab

Stenorhynchus seticomis

Small trialngular body with alternating white brown and black stripes, long pointed rostrum, tan spider like legs, purple tipped claws.

 

Decorator Crab,

Neck Crabs

Podochela spp.

Because of extensive covering of organisms it is difficult to identify species.

 

Spongy Decorator Crab

Macrocoeloma trispinosum

Triangular tan to red or brown carapace with indentation on each side behind the eye, two indentations on rear carapace body typically covered with decoration.

 

 

 

 

 

Stareye Hermit

Dardanus venosus

Lavender to pink and orange with nermous tan bristles, distinctive dark starlike design on blue eyes, legs banded with white spots.

 

Blue-Eye Hermit

Paguristes sericeus

Reddish to bright red eyestalks and small brilliant blue eyes, flattened equal size claws.

 

Blue Leg Hermit

Clibanarius tricolor

Blue carapace, legs and eyestalks, black equal size claw arms with white bumps, legs with red joints, last section white.

 

 

 

 

 

Red Striped Hermit

Phimochirus holthuisi

White legs with brown longitudinal lines, eyestalks white with brown bands, uppwer claw arm white with circular lines, blue eyes.

 

Reticulated Hermit

Iridopagurus reticulatus

Small translucent tan with bristles on equal size claw arms with brown reticulated pattern, pale eyestalks with brown band near the base and another just below the cream colored eyes.

 

Orangeclaw Hermit

Calcinus tibicen

Legs and claw arms orange, red, tan, brown or blueish green, lower legs white with brown bands. Orange eye stalks and white tips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHRIMP

 

 

 

 

Peppermint Shrimp

 

Snapping Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STOMATOPODS

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STARFISH

 

 

Common Sea Star,

Orange-Ridged Sea Star

Echinaster spinulosus

Orange to orangish yellow spines form irregular ridges the length of five tubular arms with whitish valeys in between.

 

Bandedarm Brittle Star

Ophioderma appressa

Green to gray with light and dark banded arms.

 

Colored Serpent Star

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Giant Basket Star

Astrophyton muricatum

Large numerous thin arms extend out at night to form a plankton net. Colors range from Tan, to orange to brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORMS

 

 

Social Feather Duster

Bispira brunnea

Grow in clusters, crowns extend from exposed parchment like tubes, circular crows white, tan, brown or purple often two toned with dark centers.

 

Christmas Tree Worm
Spirobranchus giganteus

Two spiraling crowns or radioles; double horned operculum extends from between the radioles, calcareous tube with large spike like protrusion. Highly variable colors and markings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEA CUCUMBERS

 

 

Hidden Sea Cucumber

Pseudotyone belli

Mouth surrounded by 8 long highly branched tenticals and a single short pair. White with brown or marron.

 

Tiger Tail Cucumber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLANTS

 

 

Watercress Alga

Halimeda opuntia

Thick profusly branched clumps of rounded three lobed or ribbed leaf like segments. Dark to bright green and yellowish green.

 

Calulerpa

Oval-Blade Alga

Calulerpa prolifera

Small flat elongated blades with short cylindrical stalks. Grow upward from long cylindrical runners. Shades of green.