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Old 11/24/2004, 03:05 PM   #1
TippyToeX
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Sea Spider

Hello Dr. Ron,

I have what I believe to be a some kind of pycnogonid in my tank. I have three pictures I posted below. I am unable to take any more (and out of state currently) pictures but do have the little buggers preserved for some more photos when I get home.





I have read your Along Came a Spider article in Reef Keeping.

Just want to be sure that this is in fact what I have so I am 100% sure of their MO.

Thanks kindly for your time.
Amy


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Old 11/24/2004, 03:22 PM   #2
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Hi,

Yes, indeedy, you have some pynogonids. They look quite like some that have been implicated as being predators on zoanthids. If you have more than one in your system - you may have some long term damage control. If they have started to reproduce the larvae may be endoparasitic in the adult prey and will be difficult to eradicate.


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Old 11/24/2004, 03:24 PM   #3
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I did pick them off a patch of zoanthids.

Well off to QT land they go. Would you advice me to quarantine all corals, or for now just the zoanthids?

Thank you again for your time & the ID.


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Old 11/24/2004, 03:30 PM   #4
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Hi,

Quarantine the zoanthids only. These types of predators are pretty specific as to their prey. I would advise removing all the adults you can see and then periodically checking the zoanthids for more which would appear after they mature inside the polyps. It may take several months to be sure of no further infestation.


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Old 11/24/2004, 03:33 PM   #5
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Excellent, will do just that.

Hope to update you in 4-6 months time with some good news.


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Old 11/28/2004, 12:21 PM   #6
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ok i have arachnifobia (bad spelling) andi thought that having a reef would be safe from spiders, and now come to find out that they live in water to....ewwwwwwwww gross nasty. great now i have to buy some gloves. lol


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Old 11/28/2004, 03:35 PM   #7
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how common are these creatures?


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Old 11/29/2004, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by liquidfluidity
Hi,

how common are these creatures?

Fairly common in nature, hard to tell in the hobby. When I am teaching inverts at marine stations, they crop up all over the place.

They are often overlooked, but I would guess that they could be pretty wide spread in the hobby. There some (different species in each case) that eat corals, sea anemones, zoanthids, etc.




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Old 11/29/2004, 01:52 PM   #9
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ohhh ewwwwwwwwww nasty. you shouldnt have told me that lol.


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Old 11/29/2004, 10:48 PM   #10
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I am actually shocked how many people have found them recently. I've been mailing many zoanthid keepers, asking for their experience with them. So many have found them (adults) in the past two months. Icky creatures.

On that note lets have a better look at them! What nightmares are made of IMHO.




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Old 11/30/2004, 06:50 AM   #11
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Or perchance, the view from the zoanthid....



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Old 11/30/2004, 11:55 AM   #12
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Any type of simple erradication? Something like a dip maybe? I am a little concerned as I am starting to get into zoos and want to be VERY aware of these NASTY little guys and what to do to get rid of them if I were to contract them. Sounds like a disease!


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Old 11/30/2004, 02:02 PM   #13
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yes tell me ow i would get rid of them. pls and thank you.


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Old 11/30/2004, 05:39 PM   #14
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That article I linked above gives good incite to how difficult these guys may be to remove. I'll quote Dr. Ron from the last paragraph of the article, but do read it! Also a search turns up many helpful threads.

Quote:
Sea spider predation or parasitism is a potential threat to all corals, soft corals, and sea anemones that are kept in aquaria. If an aquarium system gets infected, just how easy it is to control the pest species will really depend on the type of pycnogonid that is present. The large forms are typically slow, and readily apparent, and may be easily removed from aquaria. The small forms, on the other hand, may be quite difficult to see, as they may be as small, or smaller, than the polyps of small-mouthed corals. Additionally, they may live under the coral mucus layer, and this would further obscure them. They do not appear to be easily removed by "dips," poisons, or potential predators. Frankly, if they are found on corals in any tank, the best option would likely be to remove the coral from the tank, and simply dispose of it.
This is from my short experience here, and talking with others who have fought them. The adults are easy enough to pick off, but are well camouflaged. The ones I found seemed to be the same color as the stalk of the zoanthid.

I've dipped and QT (4 weeks most often) all my zoanthids prior to being put into my main tank. I missed them completely. I can only assume they were under the mucus layer, or still so small that they were not noticed by me. Nor upsetting the zoanthids at that point.

Dr. Ron, that is an amazing picture! Those are the "fangs" injected into the zoanthid in that picture? Or am I seeing things?


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Old 11/30/2004, 06:22 PM   #15
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Hi Amy,

They don't have "fangs." Those are simply the front appendages getting purchase as it crawls up the side of the colonly.

These are not "real" spiders, but simply a group that looks like them. They are not venomous. See the article for particulars of structure, but basically the mouth is on the tubular extension in the front of the body, and they chew a hole into their prey and then suck up the flesh.

Rather like slowly moving 8-legged vacuum-cleaners of zoanthid flesh.


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Old 11/30/2004, 06:34 PM   #16
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Ok whew! Was not sure if there was something I missed in your article. Thank you very much for in info!

Quote:
Originally posted by rshimek
Rather like slowly moving 8-legged vacuum-cleaners of zoanthid flesh.
I don't know if I want to laugh or cry when I read that. Better laugh or I'll lose my mind.


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Old 11/30/2004, 08:25 PM   #17
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Wow that thing is freaky looks like someting out of Alien. Anyways how big are these things? I have quite a few zoos in my tank and hopefully i don't have any of em. I'll have to keep an eye out.

Thanks,
Gabe


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Old 11/30/2004, 08:49 PM   #18
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Not a good picture, but here is one next to a penny.




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Old 12/01/2004, 10:04 AM   #19
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Hi,

Amy, THANKS!!!

Take a look at the article linked to for a size range. Some found on reefs get a couple of inches across.

And then you might (or might not...) want to take a look here :

http://scilib.ucsd.edu/sio/nsf/gallery/kc3803-63.jpg

There are some images taken from deep sea localities showing "herds" of hundreds of these big ones walking across the bottom, unfortunately I couldn't find any images posted on the web during a quick google search.




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Old 12/01/2004, 10:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by rshimek

And then you might (or might not...) want to take a look here :
Well, wouldn't you know? I sure did look and now I wish I didn't.


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Old 12/01/2004, 10:48 AM   #21
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Hi Gene,

Indeedy...

Of such things, spider phobias are made.


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Old 12/01/2004, 01:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by zenya
Well, wouldn't you know? I sure did look and now I wish I didn't.
Me too! [img]http://smilies.*************/cwm/3dlil/eek2.gif[/img]


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Old 12/01/2004, 01:50 PM   #23
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well i though that the pic wouldnt be that bad ever though you said you may or may not. and now i almost peed my pants and now im getting the heeby geebys.


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Old 12/01/2004, 01:56 PM   #24
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holy spiders....I am never sticking my hand in my tank again!! those little buggers are freakin scary looking!!

goby


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Old 12/01/2004, 02:21 PM   #25
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Would fish like leopard wrasses eatthe smaller species?


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