Friday, 23 June 2017

Sticklebacks and Solar Powered Sea Slugs

Here at the Islay Natural History Trust we work hard to maintain the tanks and keep them in good condition so when we see contented creatures breeding and displaying, a sign of a happy environment, we can be satisfied that we are doing the right thing for the creatures in our care.
A Common Prawn 
At the end of last week the eggs of one of our male sticklebacks hatched and he appeared to be caring for them well, however, the young all seem to have disappeared over the weekend. He does appear to still be guarding the nest and there may be new set of eggs in it. Perhaps he will have better luck next time?

This small sea slug was spotted clinging to the glass of the large marine aquarium this morning, I think it is the Green Sea Slug or Elysia viridis(the colour usually depends on the type of algae that has been eaten). The Green sea slug is unusual in that it belongs to a clade - Sacoglossa - of sea slugs which are the only animals to use kleptoplasty. This is where the chloroplasts from digested algae are retained and used by the host to provide it with the products of photosynthesis - they are, at least in part, solar powered.  
Green Sea Slug

Hermit crabs are not the only animals that like to live inside disused sea-shells. 

Beth C

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