Strings of pearls Caribbean
brumba at amnh.org
Sat Jul 29 15:23:44 EDT 2000
Dear Ralph and others,
These animals are probably cypridinid ostracodes that emit
bioluminescent puffs as they swim, in species-specific mating
patterns. They are resident in reef areas throughout the Caribbean,
and light displays are inhibited near the full moon. A number of
scientists work on the systematists and behavior of the group,
including Jim Morin (Cornell University), Anne Cohen (Bodega Bay,
Calif.), and Elizabeth Torres (Cal. State Univ. Los Angeles). A
review exists: J. G. Morin and A. C. Cohen. 1991. Bioluminescent
displays, courtship, and reproduction in ostracodes. In: R.T. Bauer
and J.W. Martin (eds.), Crustacean Sexual Biology, Columbia
University Press, NY.
>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
>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.
>ralphb40 at hotmail.com
>Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
Dan Brumbaugh, Ph.D.
American Museum of Natural History / Biodiversity
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
off: (212) 496-3494
fax: (212) 769-5277
brumba at amnh.org
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