Thursday, 22 February 2018

Creative Hermit Crabs



Creative Hermit Crabs


Everyone is talking about human impact on nature, but it appears that hermit crabs actually enjoying all the extra garbage with provide for them.  As you may now, Hermit crabs are decapod crustaceans from the Paguroidea family.  There are over 1000 different species of these guys.  They hide their soft spiral abdomen inside shells for protection.   However, looks like they catching up with the time.  They have figured out that there are plenty of much better alternatives.





Some hermits have been very fond of used beer bottles.  These two were seen wearing broken bottles instead of shells.  Very creative, but probably heavy)) Can't imaging carrying it all day long.

Hermit Crab Wearing Beer Bottles



Another alcoholic hermit crab.  This one is wearing a champagne cap.  


Hermit Crab Wearing Beer Bottles




These two hermit crabs would make good mascots for Home Depot.  Looks like they are into plumbing equipment .   These would probably make petty good homes because the plastic is very light.




Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Went out to scoop fish, but caught a Turtle





I went fish collecting today.  There are walking catfish, oscars, and tilapia in this little pond.  But I managed to catch none of them.  They turned out to be be way smarter than me.






 Instead, I ended up catching this water turtle.  Not sure what of turtle this is.  But it looked pretty neat.  I am not a turtle expert, so I am clueless about it.








Estuary Fish Collecting at Ann Kolb Center




Some photos from fish collecting in South Florida estuary.  We caught all these guys at Ann Kolb Nature Center, where I volunteer.  This place is famous for its mangrove forest.  They actually have 3 types of mangroves there: red mangrove, black mangrove, and white mangrove.  The water was fully marine.  I have measured it at 1.025.  We got a lot of checkered puffers, glass shrimp, mojarras, and a few blue crabs.  






Estuary Fish Collecting at Ann Kolb Center



Our captives.  Check out all the puffers))) The estuary is full of them.  They are super cute.   We have 3 of them for a display tank.   They did not seem that stressed out.  None of the inflated themselves.




Estuary Fish Collecting at Ann Kolb Center





Small plastic aquarium for photography.  That's blue crab upfront.  Behind him are darter gobies (Ctenogobius boleosoma), sheephead minnow, glass shrimp, and mojarra ( Eugerres plumieri).



Estuary Fish Collecting at Ann Kolb Center




The blue crab Callinectes sapidus was really angry and did not want to put up with any of this)))))) These crabs are always angry)))  Not very social animals at all.




Blue crab Callinectes sapidus


 Close-up of Glass Shrimp




 Close-up of Glass Shrimp Close-up of Glass Shrimp




Close-up of darter goby or Ctenogobius boleosoma.  This guys really look like swamp goby.  Only fused fins give it away as a goby.  If I were to see this fish in fresh water, I would totally think that it's a darter



Sunday, 18 February 2018

I Went To Shark Valley in Everglades!!!





Finally made to the Shark Valley in the Everglades Park.  It's true, they do have alligators everywhere!!!  They just lay around all over the main road.  It's kind of shocking and surreal.  They totally ignore people.  I counted at least 10 of them.  






So Fat and Lazy))))







This guy is thermo-regulating with his open mouth)) 






















Check out this cool site for chemical peel solutions and other skincare products)))
Chemical Peels and Skincare Supplies for UK

Thursday, 8 February 2018

White Fiddler Crabs



We got new sand at the Ann Kolb laguna and in a matter of days fiddler crabs changed color.  They are completely white.  Normally, these crabs are browning in color.  So strange that they've changed color to better blend in.





This is what a normal Fiddler Crab or Uca pugnax looks like.  They blending into the mud)))





Uca pugnax is the most common species of crabs in South Florida. This fiddler crab has a very noticeable sexual dimophism. Males have enlarged yellow colored claw bearing legs and one disproportionately large right claw.  Most male fiddler crabs are often seen making circular motions with their large claw in order to communicate with females and themselves.


Uca pugnax lives in saltmarshes along the Mid-Atlantic coast. Marsh fiddler crabs construct burrows that are utilized for mating, rest, and "hibernation" during the winter. The burrows of U. pugnax also serve as refuge from predators, heat, and incoming tides. Burrows are approximately 1.3 cm wide and are between 30.5 cm and 92 cm deep. Commonly located in sandy and muddy substrates, burrows may end in a small room or be connected with other burrows. During high tide, U. pugnax plug their burrows with mud. Often these burrows are found near hard structural elements or grass stems in areas of intermediate root mat density
Uca pugnax lives in saltmarshes along the Mid-Atlantic coast. Marsh fiddler crabs construct burrows that are utilized for mating, rest, and "hibernation" during the winter. The burrows of U. pugnax also serve as refuge from predators, heat, and incoming tides. Burrows are approximately 1.3 cm wide and are between 30.5 cm and 92 cm deep. Commonly located in sandy and muddy substrates, burrows may end in a small room or be connected with other burrows. During high tide, U. pugnax plug their burrows with mud. Often these burrows are found near hard structural elements or grass stems in areas of intermediate root mat density
Uca pugnax lives in saltmarshes along the Mid-Atlantic coast. Marsh fiddler crabs construct burrows that are utilized for mating, rest, and "hibernation" during the winter. The burrows of U. pugnax also serve as refuge from predators, heat, and incoming tides. Burrows are approximately 1.3 cm wide and are between 30.5 cm and 92 cm deep. Commonly located in sandy and muddy substrates, burrows may end in a small room or be connected with other burrows. During high tide, U. pugnax plug their burrows with mud. Often these burrows are found near hard structural elements or grass stems in areas of intermediate root mat density





These guys also dig a lot of burrows. These burrows  are 1/2 inch wide  and can be up to a foot deep.  Fiddler crabs usually run for their little home at the very first sign of trouble. Because of that, they are very hard to photograph))) These burrows are also very important to the ecosystem because they act as filters and deposits for meiofauna.  This actually affects the turnover of nutrients and chemicals in the sediment.




Wednesday, 7 February 2018

South Florida Checkered Puffer Fish



Checkered Puffer or Sphoeroides testudineus




Everyone's favorite South Florida checkered puffer or Sphoeroides testudineus, is a prominent fixture in mangrove estuaries. This cute fish belongs to Tetradontidae family, a group of fish with fused teeth that resemble parrot's beak. The beak is formed by four teeth that continue to grow throughout its life. Just like it's name suggests, checkered puffer can inflate itself when threatened. It's a common feature of most Tetradontids. However, if you see it, please don't harass it. Inflation is pretty stressful to them. It can even be harmful if they inflate themselves with air, instead of water (they have hard time expelling air)



Ann Kolb Center has 4 checkered puffers on display in their exhibit hall. These are not only cute, but also extremely smart. Which makes sense, give the fact that they are highly predatory. Their main diet consists of fiddler crabs, mangrove crabs, and various snails. Their unique teeth are a direct adaptation to this diet. They have no problem crushing shells, crabs, shrimps, and even taking bites out slow moving fish.



Unlike other members of Tetradontidae, which can't tolerate each other, checkered puffers are somewhat social. They are often seen swimming around in pairs. This is really surprising, given the violent nature of most other puffer species.






A Pair of Juvenile Checkered Puffers in Ann Kolb Nature Center Exhibit Hall


Checkered Puffer or Sphoeroides testudineus




Just like other puffer species, Sphoeroides testudineus is extremely toxic when ingested due to the tetradotoxin (named after the actual puffers). Tetradotoxin is a potent neurotoxin that prevents nervous system from carrying messages though the body. This is due to the fact that tetradotoxin is sodium channel blocker. Most common sign of puffer fish poisoning are shortness of breath, tingling or numbing of tongue, lips, face, arms, fingertips.  There is no antidote, so the only treatment is mostly supportive. If a person survives the first 24 hours, recovery without any residual effects usually occurs over the next few days.  However, the puffers are only dangerous if eaten.  You will not experience any ill effect while handling them.