During my plankton grab in St. Simon this year, I had so many different kinds of plankton to observe. Some, like the crab larvae, I could identify by sight. Some I needed to do a bit of research on. The exact species of this bristle worm, for example, is something of a mystery to me, but I’m reasonably sure of what it is (interestingly from a behavioral standpoint, this worm swam right up to my phone’s flashlight; freshwater plankton tend to be a bit photophobic, I’ve noticed, but tidal plankton tended to be attracted to lights, making them much easier to catch).
Other creatures still sort of evade identification, either because I lack the vocabulary to describe them thickly enough, or because I’m not sure where to start looking for what they are (are they plankton or some kind of monocellular organism?). So I turn to you all today to request some information. The first thing is what I’ve almost certainly incorrectly identified as a trocophore.
It was marine life, actively mobile and visible to the naked eye as a whitish speck. It looked like a highly mobile mote of dust. Magnified, it appeared to have to eye spots and a large dent in the middle of it. It’s cilliated.
My closeups are, unfortunately, a bit blurry, but you can see that it seems, anyway, to be multicelled. Unless the granules you see in it are its cytoplasm.
The other thing I caught was some kind of crustacean. I identified it as some kind of hermit crab, but I’m not 100 percent convinced of that.
It made its home in what seemed to be the broken off tube of a marsh reed. As with the other, it was visible to the naked eye, but not easily spotted. What makes me think it’s not a hermit crab is I observed it swimming by flitting in and out of the tube.
So I turn it over to you all. Any thoughts on what these might be?