REPORTS AND UPDATES
Mary Rose "Margot" Omega
and Ida Rosette Kintanar
This morning one strange and rare gastropod species was accidentally found
from samples taken from the yabby pump (see
pic) used to collect crustaceans in the intertidal zone. This gastropod (
Phenacolepdidae) looks like a limpet but is dorsally flat with big gills. Not
only is it uncommonly red, it is also first to be observed living in an intertidal
burrow. There is so far no report of it being collected in Panglao.
Lozouet, France-, photographs anything
nice and small
A bright green bivalve commonly found in deep waters was found. A Nucinella
sp. where few species are known belonging to this genus.
-Anders Warren, Switzerland-
Two gastropods with the same shell body pattern but different protoconchs (or
the pointed tip of a shell) were observed. These two specimens may have a great
possibility of being separate species because they live close together in the
area and may not interbreed.
-Yuri Kantor, Russia-
A fascinating bivalve that resembles
a nudibranch and one I haven't seen before was
something noteworthy for the day...
-Pierre Lozouet, France-
"No! it was mine! it was in my samples..hehehe", teasingly confirms
Virginie as she refers to the gastropod speculated to be a new species. This
to the Superfamily Cerithioidea and will also be joining the crab of Joelle in
the shirt design... -Virginie
An interesting specimen of a eulimid Thyca
sp., presents the smaller male on honeymoon inside
the much bigger female .
-Pierre Lozouet, France-
illustration is valuable for taxonomic identification
since it refines the presentation and gives
the important details that photographs cannot
an undescribed species of Skenea, it is here
in Panglao that it is first found in the Indo-Pacific
sp. (Montacutidae), a species found in the
gut of a holothurian . Unusual for a bivalve
because it has an internal shell. The mantle
is used for brooding larvae (trochophore),
usually bivalves brood inside the shell. Mantle
is bigger than the shell. The byssal gland
has little threads to attach itself to the
gut. Specialized because they have several
micro positionings for example in a specific
body part of a host and there would be no competition. -Serge
species of mollusc settle and easily
find a cozy nook in a specific
part of a host especially in other
invertebrates. We take for example
that of a sea cucumber, Holothuria
atra, wherein in its cavity these
micromolluscs are usually long,
and in its tentacles we can find
Melanella sp., a very strategic
position that they could not be
eaten by predator fishes because
the host retracts its tentacles
thus protecting it. Shells in the
body wall are commonly sturdy solid
polished shells and more difficult
for the bully crabs to pick on
them. Other preferred home settlement
would be the cloaca, where it has
been observed for molluscs to come
in pairs. The presence of these
micro shells in sea urchins affect
the growth of the spine and some
even survive inside them thus creating
What this team basically does is to voraciously collect and identify as many
existing molluscs and its associated hosts as possible. And the team has hit
upon a couple of interesting things ...
Some molluscs are commonly associated with soft and hard corals. Incredibly
to date, there have been 15 species seen alive for the first time. There’s Rapa
rapa which the group has now actually witnessed living in its host
coral and have even observed its feeding.
-Marco Oliverio, Italy-
NEW... NEW... NEW...
There's a new species record of an ovulid, Dentiovula
masaoi living on a gorgonia, Siphonogorgia.
This has conclusively confirmed the association
of all Deutiovula with its host family Nidaliidae.
new species of Vermetus, a gastropod
that resembles the tube of some serpulid polychaete
worms and one that cements itself into or on
any hard substratum (coral, rubble etc.) and
in this case it was (as it is often) found
on a coral Porites.
new mollusc association between an epitonid
gastropod and a particular sea anemone (see
-Stefano Schiaparelli, Itally-
A not so ordinary occurrence was observed today. A Colubraria (gastropod)
was seen sucking in blood under a couple of oblivious sleeping parrotfishes.
Probably the first time to be noted here in Panglao.
-Marco Oliverio, Italy-
SLUG NEWS (Top)
A TWOSOME FIND...
slugs as they are commonly called is a group
of marine animals people find fascinating but
know so little about," says Pepe. There
are over 5 thousand species in the world and
more than 475 species identified in the Philippines,
12 of which are new. Here in Panglao alone,
we've collected around 150 species so far… But
there may be terrific news as we've found specimens
belonging to 2 new genera.
Sea slug 1: Observed for the first time, it has appendages used for walking
instead of crawling in the substratum.
Sea Slug 2: Peculiarly with an oral surface looking like an elephant trunk
and features both characteristics distinct from two genera. That of Berthella
-Pepe Templado, Spain-
Because there are already been
around 40 and more unidentified species shouldered
by the Opistobranch team, confirmed
species updates will perhaps be completed
when the sea slug master, Terry Gosliner
from the California Academy of Sciences
arrives and be joining the project
-Yolanda Camacho, Costa Rica-
amazing number of 120 species of nudibranchs
have been discovered that are new records to
the Philippines 60 of which are undescribed!
It turns out that the opisthobranchs are not
that abundant but are found to be very diverse.
The astonishing diversity of this group is
manifested by the ratio of 370 registered to
date in this project to 622 species currently
known to the whole Philippines. And the numbers
may still be rising, just like the newest finding
yesterday of 2 specimens belonging to the order
Acochlidiacea. Both of these possibly belong
to the genus Acochlidium. Most species in the
inventory belong to the order Cephalaspidea.
Apparently, the hotspot for this group of mollusc is Pamilacan Island because
it has been observed to be abundant there.
Manuel Malaquias, U.K.-
in the project, we are thrilled to obtain samples
from other collecting methods ( brushing, hand
collecting etc.) besides those samples taken
from tangle nets. There are good specimens
taken from sponges but not so much from seagrass
beds. One odd sample, Pseudomiccipe sp. is
a crab with a barnacle endoparasite in its
gills…most barnacles of this sort are
very much inconspicuous but this one was easy
-Joelle Lai, Singapore-
There's this strange elbow crab (Parthenopidae)…maybe it's a new species…I
can feel it in my guts. I will call Swee Hee, who has just finished revising
this family of odd crabs, to confirm whether this is something really special.
-Joelle Lai, Singapore-
What makes it so exciting is that we are able to discover crustaceans from
samples taken from methods we haven't used before like the air lift sampler
(it's completely working by the way as updated by Philippe Maestrati).
-Chia Wei Lin, Taiwan-
The elbow crab mentioned by Joelle was really a new species (see
pic). Swee Hee has confirmed that this crab is an elbow crab (Parthenopidae)
and has placed it in the genus Pseudolambrus. This crab is rather
odd and atypical of other members in the family because it has shorter arms.
This new species strongly resembles a piece of coral rubble and probably serves
the crab well as camouflage from its natural predators. But not from the efficient
collectors of this expedition! Obtained from a trap placed near the resort,
it is hideous (standards vary) but is fortunately chosen as part of the project's
official shirt design.
-Tan Swee Hee, Singapore-
Hermit crabs are mostly caught from
trawling, lumon-lumon or tangle nets.
We have found 2 or 3 possible species
belonging to the genera Paguristes
Dwi Listyu, Indonesia-
The last night for most of the crustacean group
proved to be nevertheless as exciting as the whole
of the expedition. To start the night, the team
was taken for a gastronomic sampling to one of
the best restaurants in the entire island of Panglao.
The feast was opened with a bowl of hot prawn sinigang
soup, followed by chicken pork adobo, lechon kawali,
crispy pata and the house fisherman’s plate.
Not to lure you away from our real intentions
coz carcinologically the night has just begun,
we took the trail leading to the in-house cave,
the Kambagat cave. This cave is the lair of 5
species of land crabs, including 2 of the endemic
land crabs of Bohol - Discoplax gracilepes and
Sesamoides boholano, and the Philippine coconut
crab Birgus latro, although that night we were
unlucky to catch a glimpse of the latter. These
crabs were usually abundant and easily caught.
They were literally walking all over the site.
The two crabs stated above were new records for
the expedition. So even on the last night of
the team, we still brought in a valuable catch.
VIVA LA CRUSTACEA!
-Roxie Diaz, Philippines-
Balicasag is now proven to be the place of crabs
since more and more species have been uncovered
for the past years. However, this does not imply
of its diversity in the area. It was only when
lumon-lumon, a traditional fishing technique
was introduced as a sampling method for bringing
to light undiscovered species of crabs lurking
in the depths of the Balicasag reef wall.
WHEN WE DO SOME BOTTOM SAMPLING
What's remarkable here is we are able to find species at 80m that are usually
collected in deeper areas (400m). "The best explanation so far would be
the non-presence of a barrier reef," says Bertrand. An interesting find
was a mollusc species under the family Coccolinidae, a group not so well known
living in sunken woods and a particular large sponge packed with numerous commensal
-Bertrand Richer de Forges, New
ME? I ALWAYS DIVE...
“You will never fail to find interesting things when diving,” says
good ol’ Patrice, the team leader of Panglao 2004 diving group. The group’s
routine work is mainly collecting through brushing rubble during the day and
hand picking at the same time looking for good areas as a next possible sampling
site during the afternoons.
Patrice was asked to compare sites they have dived so far…in Puntod Island,
there were a lot of fishes but not so many molluscs. They’re still having
difficulty with the vacuum, sometimes it's working sometimes it's not!
- Patrice Petit de Voize, France-
The Pamilacan Island dive was nice….soft corals were splendid (see gallery).
-Jacques Dumas, France-
A possible new species of a littoral crab (Gecarcinidae) was found but so far
only one specimen has been collected. Callianassids and Axiids, these organisms
are being collected using the yabby pump (only on fine sand).
About 25 species
of mud shrimps belonging to 5 families i.e. Thalassinidae, Callianassidae,
Axiidae, Strahlaxiidae, Upogebiidae have been discovered from
different habitats. Most common in beaches is Neocallichirus
indicus, a second unidentified species of Neocallichirus
and two species of Calliax, one of which is new. The large Glypturus
armatus can be found in several habitats specifically
in seagrass beds, rubble fields and sublittoral sandy to muddy
sediments. Sublittoral sediments are inhabited by several species
of Callianassa, Calliax and Neocallichirus; Callianassa was
Mud shrimps which live at least 30 cm deep are characterized by the funnels
and mounds that they create from their burrows. In seagrass beds and coral
rubble, Neaxius acanthus is seen often in the burrow opening. However
some species like Glypturus armatus, although abundant are hard to
catch using ordinary traps. It requires special weighted line traps that are
deployed and daily checked in the field.
Brushing revealed quite a few small specimens of Axiidae living cryptic within
coral rubbles. Trawling from deeper muddy bottoms yielded several species of
Upogebia and Axiidae.
A typhoon is coming and it’s been raining all day…but still the
diving group plunged in as always. And as a result, Jacques Dumas stumbled
upon a black opistobranch he believed may be a good find. The creature was
then turned over to the scrutiny of the Opistobranch team.
typhoon coming... 1,270 kms
east of the Visayas and a
pretty strong one at 150
kph. It has been a gray and
Today is independence day in the USA...
How fast can a snail
travel? It depends on what is chasing
-Gregory Miller, Australia-
POINTS TO PONDER!
I was not expecting what kind of project
im working with right now,
sooner as days goes by, im learning different
things, may it be with sea animals and different
species new to me, like crustaceans, molluscs,
bivalves, opisthobranchs and
etc... But somehow, im learning different languages
and cultures from 19 countries involved
with this project and im thankful to be part
of this. To those person's responsible
for this project, im really grateful and honored
from learning the value of work, responsibility
-Ryard Paig, Philippines-