Drupella cornus is a coral predator. These photos show the destruction it can cause, something like the effect of the Crown of Thorns Sea Star. These photos were taken at the Ningaloo reefs off Western Australia, where these snails have had population explosions that devastated Acroporid corals in some areas. P. Baker
There are some snails that can quickly consume coral and anemone tissue as well. In volume one we discussed snails that are parasites on tridacnid clams, and the subject was also covered thoroughly by Knop (1996). We show here another possible parasite on tridacnids, but we haven't been able to identify it or even prove that it is harmful. It may be simply a herbivore, but we suspect it is harmful to tridacnid clams, based on the large numbers we have seen on the shells of newly imported clams sometimes.
This Epitonium sp. a type of wentletrap snail, feeds exclusively on Tubastraea. Check newly imported or collected colonies for this snail and its similarly coloured egg masses. J. Sprung
Heliacus snails are commonly imported on zoanthid colonies. As we mentioned in chapter two, They eat the polyps and destroy colonies in the aquarium. Be sure to remove them and their egg masses. S. W. Michael
These unidentified snails were found on newly imported Red Sea Tridacna maxima clams. Whether these are parasitic is unknown, but when faced with the possibility of damage to a precious specimen it is always best to err on the side of caution and remove the questionable hitchhikers! J. C. Delbeek
Cyphoma spp. snails are predators of Caribbean photosynthetic gorgonians. The rarer species on top, C. signatum, feeds preferentially on Plexaurella spp. In the natural habitat it causes more damage than the common C. gibbosum, by actually stripping away the coenenchyme, exposing the gorgonin; Cyphoma gibbosum below, only eats the polyps (Ruesinkand Harvell, 1990). In aquaria both species strip away and eat the coenenchyme. and they will feed on more species than they normally do in the wild, so they cannot be maintained safely with gorgonians, unless the aquarium houses an enormous number of gorgonians or they are replaced periodically. J. Sprung
Chances are when these eggs hatch they will release Sarcophytoneatin'
varmints, probably the snail
The ovulid snail, Diminovula (alabastei?), feeds on Dendroneph-thya and is occasionally found on newly imported colonies. In the natural environment how destructive these are is not known. Left in the aquarium, they typically consume the tissue of Dendroneph-thyavery rapidly. J. C. Delbeek
Often mistaken for worms, the sessile vermetid snails are common in reef aquaria. Large species such as the one pictured, erect long calcareous tubes from which they extrude filaments of mucus.
These long strands entrap detritus and plankton on which the snail feeds. Smaller species are found in large numbers on live rock and in filter systems. They can become problematic when they reach large numbers in pipes and filters, where they can significantly impede water flow. Otherwise they are harmless, and their proliferation indicates the aquarium is healthy.
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