Wednesday 20 March 2013

Sponge Isopod

Image: liquidgurur
Sponge Isopods! Teeny, tiny, creepy, crawly Sponge Isopods!

And that, approximately, is all I know about them.

I guess I know they're in the genus Santia, which is in the family Santiiadae, so I could tell you all about their pereonites and pleonites and pleotelson... but that seems beside the point when it's this weird, fuzzy looking thing for whom a nail clipping would be a long road.

The one on top is carrying a bundle of miniscule eggs!

Liquidguru, who filmed them in Indonesia, says these little champs are quite common but not often noticed. He draws our attention to those teensy legs and the way they pat themselves on the back. It looks like they're covering themselves in little bits of sponge for camouflage! Perhaps the entire isopod is actually as pale as their legs, and the rest is some weird fashion/anti- fashion thing.

Image: liquidgurur
So there they are on the rolling sponge-hills, presumably eating either the sponge itself or bits and bobs that land on it. They don't have piercing-sucking mouthparts but they still look like aphids.

Or sheep.