My little reef is home to a pair of porcelain crabs, a large female named Ripley and a much smaller male who goes by the name of Facehugger. We brought Facehugger home first, and it’s probably obvious how he acquired his name. When I saw the big female at the fish store, I knew I needed to bring her home, and her name seemed pretty obvious. Unfortunately, she’s taken it to heart. Ripley doesn’t like Facehugger much. They don’t exactly fight, but she’s quick to assert her dominance over him every time they meet. In a recent confrontation, Ripley toreRead more
Ripley … Believe it or Not!
Last week I brought home another porcelain crab for my little reef. Although larger than the other two, the new addition looks almost identical to the existing porcelain crabs, Face and Hugger. I’d originally named her “Hold” but after discovering that the new crab was both female and gravid (egg bearing, aka “pregnant”) my son persuaded me that she needed a name more in line with the “Alien” theme of the other two. We’ve named her Ripley. After completing her acclimatization hold, I released Ripley into the tank. She swam immediately into a large cluster of blue-green palythoas, where sheRead more
Sometimes, the Pearl IS the Oyster
Yesterday, while visiting the fish store to pick up another porcelain crab, I noticed a strangely-shaped frag of zoanthids in the “cheapie” section of the store. I noticed because zoas rarely grow in geometrically-regular colonies, and even when they do the colony “edges” are uneven, with independent polyps sticking away from the cluster at varying intervals. The colony I noticed was circular (almost ovoid), with sharply defined rounded edges. Upon closer examination, it also had an open mouth along the edge. What I’d found was a rare example of inter-species cooperation: a live oyster overgrown with at least two differentRead more