pictures, Science

Nagoya Aquarium – Jellyfish

More in the series of sea creatures found at the Nagoya Aquarium, here are some of the jellyfish species found there.  If you weren’t aware, jellyfish overpopulation is becoming a problem in the world’s oceans.

The captions refer to the organism pictured directly below.

Moon jellyfish. Aurelia aurita.

A hydrozoan jellyfish. Tima formosa.

A cnetophore. Bolinopsis mikado.

Spotted Jellyfish. Mastigias papua.

Upside down jellyfish. Cassiopea sp. These species are actually synthetic due to their endosymbiotic zooxanthellae, and can sting!

pictures, Science

Nagoya Aquarium – Fishes et cetera

Today I went to the Nagoya Aquarium.  Here’s a collection of vines of some of the fish I saw.  This aquarium was nice, but definitely didn’t have the curation quality that I found at the Uozo aquarium in Toyama.  Take a look and look for more posts in the coming days!

Note – the comments describe the species immediately below.

This is Chaetodon ulietensis or Chaetodon vagabundus. I’m not sure which.

Rhinecanthus verrucosus

A shrimp!

Ptereleotris? Don’t know.

Magochi. Platycephalus sp.

Whitegirdled goby. Pterogobius zonoleucus.

Bering wolffish. Anarhichas orientalis.

Japanese bandfish. Cepola schlegeli.

Lobster thing.

Loggerhead turtle.


Pig-nosed turtle and northern snake-necked turtle.

Bioluminescence, pictures, Science

Sea Creatures of Uozu Aquarium – 1 – Pandalid Shrimp

I recently visited the Uozu Aquarium in Toyama while searching for the Japanese Fireworms in Toyama Bay. The aquarium staff were extremely helpful and hospitable, and our laboratory group had the chance to spend three leisurely hours exploring the aquarium.  I was able to take a lot of videos, so I plan on posting one per day here with short descriptions.

Day 1 – A Pandalid Shrimp

I’m not sure what this species is, but it is a pandalid shrimp – a species that is probably edible! These shrimps are found in cold waters, and aside from being delicious, are economically important.  Most pandalid shrimp start their lives as males, then become females later in life – a life strategy not uncommon in the ocean. Most species live between 3-5 years and can lay thousands of eggs in one season. Fried or fertilized?

Many Heterocarpus shrimp (a genus of pandalids) use bioluminescence to defend themselves by ejecting a blue glowing cloud into the surrounding water when disturbed.  This blue cloud gives the shrimps a chance to escape, like a squid’s ink cloud.

pictures, Science

Traveling for research.

I am fortunate in that my laboratory takes trips fairly regularly to collect bioluminescent specimens for research. Recently I traveled to Toyama to gather a rare luminous worm that only appears swimming on the ocean surface for three or four days per year.

We were also able to take home luminous mushrooms, two fish specimens with bioluminescent spots, and bioluminescent earthworms that we found outside of an aquarium building.

Fecaloma of what we believe to be a bioluminescent worm.

Fecaloma of what we believe to be a bioluminescent worm. Basically it’s a giant pile of above-ground worm poop.

After sampling for specimens, we sampled the local cuisine, namely their famous sashimi and other fruits de mer, including a local delicacy: the firefly squid.

Firefly squid nicely packaged and dried for consumption.

Firefly squid nicely packaged and dried for consumption.

Currently I am in Okinawa for five days for an insect genome conference and to collect luminous fireflies, millipedes, centipedes, fishes, and snails.