Thursday, September 10, 2009

Life Photo Meme: Frosted

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Mollusca


Order: Nudibranchia

Family: Tethydidae

I guess all larval animals have a clear, frosted appearance, but I choose this particular larva because it's special to me. This is a veliger larva, a larval stage which is typical to the marine snails. In particular, this is a baby lion nudibranch, Melibe leonina. This larva hatched today, and I am trying to rear them to adulthood.

The fuzzy bits toward the bottom of the veliger is cilia, which helps it swim. The two round dots that look like eyes are actually statocysts, which help the larva figure out orientation (up and down). These guys have a thin shell in the veliger stage, which they lose when they metamorphose into juveniles.

Adult lion nudibranchs live in the kelp canopy, and eat small creatures that live on the kelp or float by. They use their big oral hood much in the same way a Venus fly trap catches flies. Because of the way they feed, they are one of the easiest sea slugs to keep in a public aquarium. They are also one of the few sea slugs to swim.

It will take a little over month before these little veligers metamorphose and settle into the adult form. It will be a welcome challenge to try and keep some of them alive for that long.


Kate said...

awwww... so cute. And you know how I love my nudibranchs!

Wanderin' Weeta said...

Cute! How big would that be?

Brine Queen said...

Right now, it's about 120 micrometers long.

Wanderin' Weeta said...

Thanks! Just a bit fatter than a human hair, then. Barely visible.

I hope some of them make it. I'd love to see photos of the different stages as they grow.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Brine Queen

Please help me out. I'm writing to you all the way from Poland, EU. As stupid as it may sound, I would LOVE if you helped me. And this is not a scam or anything.

You see, I am a die-hard fan of Aerosmith. I am attempting to translate their lyrics into Polish language, for free, for the fan base here.

You may have heard the "Draw The Line" song. I have come across the line I just can't understand. Steven Tyler sings :
you're the salt, you're the queen of the brine

I was rackin my brains but I just don't understand what it means, besides literally "queen of sea water".

And I see you are the only person on the internet calling herself the "brine queen", you gotta understand what that phrase means!

Please help, I'm goin crazy here

Brine Queen said...

Really, I don't know the song... Sorry. I just looked up the lyrics, and I really don't know exactly what it is he is trying to get across with that. But brine is kind of what you get when salt water evaporates a bit (making it more salty).

Anonymous said...

dang , maybe he means something like 'you're the salt of the earth, the most important thing to me', or I also heard they'd be shooting drinks and licking salt , but who the heck knows, I bet he doesn't know himself as he was so high ,
well anyway, sorry for taking your time and I really appreciate for the effort, it's really nice not to be ignored ,
thanks a lot,
best regards