Ok, I know this is our second Stomatella video, but we’re honestly fascinated by these snails. They are one of the best aquarium hitch hikers imaginable and they are rather odd looking. They lack a traditional whorling shell, but instead have a shield-like carapace they hide under. Stomatellas are usually nocturnal, as are most aquarium invertebrates, so you could image my surprise to see this little guy out and about grazing during daytime hours. The video above has been sped up 4x.
A couple of other invertebrates in the video above include an Asterina starfish, another common and beneficial hitch hiker, along with a Vermetid snail. The Vermetid snail is actually a sessile snail, meaning it doesn’t move. As a juvenile, it does crawl around until it finds a comfortable spot to permanently attach. Once attached, it still has to feed, and does so by casting a thick mucus net into the water column. The net of course gets blown in the direction of the current, which often sends it onto a coral. The mucus net will kill coral tissue, so if you come across these tube snails, get rid of them as soon as possible. You can glue over them or cut them out with a pair of coral cutters. Either way, finding and successfully removing them will prevent you from experiencing any random coral death or tissue loss.