Strings of pearls Caribbean

ralph butcher ralphb40 at
Fri Jul 28 18:45:50 EDT 2000

Dear Readers

I am presently working in the Caribbean (Roatan, Honduras).
Often when we go on night dives we switch our torches off for a time. After 
our eyes have adjusted we are able to see many lines of phosphorescing dots 
of light moving from the top to the bottom of the water column. Only four 
dots are lit at any one time, the "oldest" dot at the top fading just as a 
new one appears at the bottom.

I have caught some of theses critters and found them (looking through a 
dissection microscope) to be a small shrimp encased in a clear shell which 
hinges at the top and allows them to swim. They also have a small phosphores 
producing organ under their rostrum. Size of organism is a full stop.

Has anyone else seen these and know their Scientific name, their life cycles 
and are they present over the reef all the time. We see them best a good 
week after a full moon (dark).

Any info would be appreciated.


Ralph Butcher
ralphb40 at
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