ID wanted, unknown thing on Christmas tree worm rock

LisaP

Premium Member
I've been trying to find out the identity of this thing for a while. It kind of looks like a tunicate (with inhalant and exhalant siphons) but seems to be living in a tube. The 'tube' has grown longer over the last 6 months and is covered with Cyphastrea. I have seen something similar in the past but it was much smaller and growing on a snail shell. I am so very curious to know what this thing is and really hope someone here can help me ID it. 🤞😀

Unknown110522.png
 

Noah_Reefing

Active member
thats gnarly, idk if thats chypastrea i think it would be porities cause thats what christmas tree worms live in but it looks sick!
 

LisaP

Premium Member
Excellent photo. What camera did you use?
It's a Canon 500D, I've had it for ages but still does the job (and I can't afford a new one). I'm not even sure how many updated versions have been released since I bought this one. 😆
 

Jvak

Member
Is it a Vermetid snail? If so I would be super glueing the end and then let the Cyphastrea grow over.
 

shred5

Premium Member
Certainly looks like a tunicate or sea squirt. I have never seen one grow like that if it is. Just because I have not seen it does not mean it can not be.
Lots of time worm rock comes with these little filter feeding crabs that live in tubes but that certainly isn't that and it was what I expected to see and I do see one in the picture.
It could be a vermetid snail but does not look like one. There are larger verities of vermetid snail and not all of them spread like a pest. You ever see a net coming out?

Certainly is a beautiful piece of rock.
 

LisaP

Premium Member
Is it a Vermetid snail? If so I would be super glueing the end and then let the Cyphastrea grow over.
Actually there was a large Vermatid snail living in the rock too, it was really cool. Sadly I lost it after 3 months, no idea why. I assumed it would be easy to keep, I mean I have a lot of the small hitchhiking vermatids and they are positively thriving. :rolleyes: Anyway this is what it looked like before it died.

Vermatid050122.jpg
 

LisaP

Premium Member
Certainly looks like a tunicate or sea squirt. I have never seen one grow like that if it is. Just because I have not seen it does not mean it can not be.
Lots of time worm rock comes with these little filter feeding crabs that live in tubes but that certainly isn't that and it was what I expected to see and I do see one in the picture.
It could be a vermetid snail but does not look like one. There are larger verities of vermetid snail and not all of them spread like a pest. You ever see a net coming out?

Certainly is a beautiful piece of rock.
That bivalve structure at the top makes me think possible tunicate.
Tunicate was my first thought but I have never heard of any that live in a tube, unless they settle and the coral grows up around them? It does not extend a net.

There are 4 Paguritta crabs in the rock too, super cute little things. I bought the rock almost more for them than I did the Christmas tree worms. 😍 There's also a large tunicate at the base. It really is a treasure trove of fascinating hitchhikers.😁
 

reefing102

Who Am I Here?
Premium Member
Hmm I was initially thinking a large vermetid but there’s no trap door structure I can see. Almost looks like a tunicate in a vermetid tube but I wouldn’t think it would continue to grow. Great pics too!
 

LisaP

Premium Member
Here's a quick Timelapse video from today showing what it does (or doesn't do). :p


Also here's a top down photo taken last December....

Uknowntd151221.png

...and a photo from January.

Unknown040122.png

Perhaps the additional photos might help jog someones brain. :LOL:. Someone on Instagram suggested vermatid snail too but I'm not convinced. I know that not all species have an operculum but I thought they all produced a mucus net?
 

kharmaguru

Premium Member
Here's a quick Timelapse video from today showing what it does (or doesn't do). :p


Also here's a top down photo taken last December....

View attachment 32371561

...and a photo from January.

View attachment 32371562

Perhaps the additional photos might help jog someones brain. :LOL:. Someone on Instagram suggested vermatid snail too but I'm not convinced. I know that not all species have an operculum but I thought they all produced a mucus net?
Some vermetids put out a string like a fishing line instead of a net but that's not a vermetid.
 
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