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The creature within (my euphillia)

4222 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Heyoo
Tonight I noticed something living inside my hammer coral.
As a piece of plankton from feeding landed on the polyps, I saw a feathery appendage emerge from the tissue and looked to be grasping for the plankton!

The feathery appendage looked much like the filter-feeding behavior of a porcelain crab - but trust me... I haven't purchased a crab, and if one is in there, its living inside of my coral.

It appeared to be retracting into a tube, which makes me think its a worm of some sort.

Is this thing harmful to the coral that it is living in? Any cause for alarm?

I captured a video, but unfortunately it ended up being 4.1MB, so I can't post it. If you are interested (and have a fast connection), I can email it to you.

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I'd like to see the video. I probably couldn't answer your question, but I like to see pics and videos. LOL
There are species of crabs/shrimp that live in tubes (sorry, I don't remember a name this morning) within several species of corals, although I am not faminliar with this particular one in Euphyliids. Some are parasitic, some are not, but the behavior yours demonstrates sounds like it should not be a problem.

Congratulate yourself for having commensural biodiversity!
WHOOOO-HOOOOO FOR ME! I have "commensural Biodiversity"!!!
Whatever that is... hehehe:D

Thanks for your help Tom.
I've only had this coral for a few months, but so far it hasn't shown any signs of decay. I'll definately keep an eye on it.

I had a hammer for a long time with a similar critter. This was a hand-like extention that grasped the water column. We tried to ID it, but it never caused any problems for the hammer, so we didn't worry too much.

and it could be a barnacle of some sort... Although I am not familiar with one that lives like this. guess I need to research it a bit...

now that you mention it, the "feathers" do look like those on a barnacle. I may have to spend some time trying to get a clear pic.
i've got some kind of barnacle type critter in a couple of my acro's. i can see how these work, but i never would have thought of some inside a hammer.

I was watching again last night, and noticed something new.
With Tom's suggestion of a tube-dwelling crab/shrimp in mind, I noticed the feathers seemed to be pulling whatever they could out of the water into the mouth of the tube where shorter "arms" would reach and then retract into the tube. The whole thing is a milky-translucent color, and not very big, so I could be way off with calling those arms.
Anyway, I watched it till I went crosseyed... those bowfront tanks can really twist your brain if you stare for too long!
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