Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Are You a Good Slug or a Bad Slug?

I've been spending a lot of time staring at my tank. With nothing but coral, snails, and hermit crabs, I expected to be quite bored. Surprisingly, I'm captivated by the lively movements and colors of the coral, alien creatures to me. The other night, I discovered the tank is still entertaining after the lights go out.

This strange, large slug made its 2nd appearance late one Saturday night. I know. I have a very exciting night, spending long amounts of time watching my saltwater aquarium. Anyway, the first time I saw her, I thought it was a fluke. I rubbed my eyes and squinted. The mysterious creature had disappeared. Maybe it was just my imagination...

Then, Nessie (we aptly dubbed the elusive creature) made its 2nd appearance. Well after lights-out, I spotted her, a large yellowish slug (antennae and all) with tiny punctate freckles, cruising up the back of our aquarium wall. I freaked. What is it? Is it good our bad? Do I kill it or feed it? I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures, a difficult challenge in darkness where a flash is also forbidden. We shined a flashlight on it, and Nessie quickly disappeared again.

After some research, I've discovered Nessie is a Stomatella Varia, a type of snail with almost no shell. Nessie is a benefical hitchhiker commonly found on live rock. She eats annoying algae, moves quite fast for a snail, and is nocturnal. Bingo!

I quietly await for what new surprises my mysterious aquarium has in store for me...


1 comment:

  1. I've got some slugs and snails appearing. they seem to be flourishing in my refugium. Not so much in the display tank where my Skunk shrimp may be eating them. There are at least 30 of them roaming all around. Some are dark black in color, a few white ones and then a bunch of very microscopic snails with shells. I'm not too worried as they have cleaned up the refugium quite well!