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THE INVERTEBRATES OF MAGNETIC ISLAND

A huge variety of invertebrates can be found on the reefs of Magnetic Island. Some, such as giant clams, are large and conspicuous, while others are small and only seen on close inspection. Our experienced guides can help you find some spectacular reef animals that you would otherwise miss! Here are some examples of the invertebrates we see regularly on our Reef Eco-Tours.

Fluted Giant Clam (Tridacna squamosa)

 

There are 6 species of Tridacnid Clams on the Great Barrier Reef, ranging in size from the small boring clam (Tridacna crocea), which grows to about 10cm, through to the Giant Clam (Tridacna gigas) which reaches over 1m in length and 200kg in weight!  Through our professional contacts with AQUASEARCH, an aquaculture consultancy business based on Magnetic Island, we are able to offer participants the opportunity to snorkel through a restricted research site where more than 90 large Giant Clams have been placed. Truly a rare opportunity to view these special invertebrates which are now endangered throughout most of the South-Pacific.

Christmas Tree Worm (Spirobranchus spp.)

Christmas Tree worms are a type of polychaete worm that bore dwelling holes into living coral colonies. The body of the worm resides in the hole, while the colourful gills are extended out in a spiral to capture plankton from the water currents. These worms are found mainly in living Porites corals, where they can reach high densities. The gills can be a whole range of colours, including red, blue, purple, yellow and white.

Nudibranch (Chromodoris magnifica)

The nudibranchs or "sea-slugs" are gastropod Molluscs that have lost their shell. Most species are brightly coloured as a warning to fishes and other predators that they are toxic and should not be eaten. Nudibranchs obtain their toxicity from their food, which is other invertebrates such as hydroids, ascidians, and sponges. Each nudibranch species has 1-2 prey items that it feeds upon, so to find the nudibranch you first must find their food!

 


Reef EcoTours.com
Home
Conditions Update
Magnetic Island Map
Tevene'i Marine
About Us
Safe Snorkelling
Contact
Magnetic Island Coral Reef Field Guide
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