Tag Archives: specimens

My Special Hermit Crab Trash Friend Died Today :’( (Day 6)

Unfortunately, today the weather was still too windy to go to the reef crest or to do the night snorkel. Instead, we did specimen collection on the back reef and a quick dive on the patch reef before dinner.

In the specimen collection, we picked Udotea flabellum, Halimeda tuna, Halimeda monile, Halimeda incrassate, Dictyosphaeira cavernosa, Caulerpa urvilleana, Acetabularia calcyculus, Penicillus pyriformis, Valonia utricularis, and Rhipocephalus phoenix green algae.

Some brown, red, and green algae samples we collected.

We also brought back a Sun Anemone, a Mantis Shrimp, a Queen conch, circle marked brittle sea stars, a bearded fireworm, and a baby Caribbean reef octopus.

A Queen Conch

During our dives I spent a lot of time looking for fish. I saw more Blue Tangs, a Spotted Moray eel, a French Angelfish, Four-eyed Butterfly Fish, a Cat shark (?), a Grey Angelfish, and French Grunts.

The tail of a Spotted Moray Eel.

It is hard to believe that tomorrow is our last full day on Glover’s Reef. It will be nice to be less salty than I’ve been, but I am really going to be sad leaving this amazing place, especially if we don’t get a chance to go to the reef crest before we go.

Wrapping up

Our last day at Glovers has been bittersweet. We wrapped things up by collecting specimens from the backreef and bringing them into the wet lab for sorting and identification. While I did see several split crown feather dusters they are not the kind of thing you can remove from the reef without killing the organism because of how they attach to the substrate. However, we collected several fish, blue crabs, tiny brown crabs, all kinds of green, brown, and red algae, mantis shrimp, jellies, clam shells, and a huge hermit crab.

Yesterday we collected data on specific coral colonies for a long term study. We measured live coral coverage, and today we looked at the data for the same corals taken last year to compare the results. We found that coverage seemed to have decreased at the sites, but it was hard to tell because of discrepancies in data collection. Lastly, we dissected lionfish that were caught throughout the week to look at size, sex and stomach contents to get an idea of what the population of this invasive species looks like in Glovers atoll.

I wish I had more time on the reef and in this course. Middle caye and the surrounding reefs are beautiful and I feel like I could stay here for a long time. I may be salty, all my laundry is filthy, and I definitely have a whole new threshold for dirty, but I’m still happy as a clam.




Sophia Streeter