Re: NANFA-- Mussels

kahley (
Mon, 02 Sep 2002 07:39:15 -0500

>Okay, that doesn't sound like Zebra Mussel. They really don't bury
>themselves in substrate that much. Only reason I asked is because, as an
>invasive species, they would be one that just kind of shows up. Usually
>brought in by a careless boater.

Yes..I have been watching for striped shells for years now. The Susquehanna
is miraculously still clear of them but I fear it's just a matter of
time. This
one, or rather the parts of crushed one that I saw, was fairly uniform in
There have been changes in the bivalve community since I built the
reef. Clams were once a rarity, now they are as common as dirt, In fact,
a large percentage of the build-up which I must dig out each spring in tiny
clams. One of he neatest things to teach newbees is how to spot the big ones.
They always say the same thing..."You never see the big ones alive...only the
pretty shells." I tell them, "Yes you do, you just don't know you are
seeing them".
As soon as I show them one and tell them to go look for another, it takes
just a
couple minutes till the head pops up with "I found one!!" It took me years
to find
one on my own....only when I saw it react my shadow and snap shut. I just
didn't expect them to be on end and buried.

Another change is the increase of snails. I need to find a reference to ID
these as well. These are elongated not like the ramshorns I remember from
my" tank days". Young sunnies seem to find the tinniest ones quite tasty so
I have been letting a lot of the algae hang on the reef (now that the nests
are defunct) and dragging more of it into the nursery. That's an assumption,
as my eyes aren't good enough to see if they are actually eating the snails
but they certainly do peck at something in that hair troll algae...or is it the
algae itself??

The last "like" species is totally a mystery. Until this year, I didn't
it was even alive. The two times I noticed it, looked like a small piece of
twig, stuck on the underside of a rock, I had never taken any notice to it
until this year. It is totally tubular. I'll take a closer look next time
I find
one. Ohhh...another new thing is a rather horrific looking bug....sort of
shield shaped and flatish...again on the underside of rocks. I guess
I've never paid much attention to the tiniest reefers till this year.

>Otherwise an expert in local species might be able to help.

This is my winter project...troll the local universities for someone
who knows what I'm looking at. Sooo many questions. Like why are
some bass are smooth olive green while others have the most dramatic
spots. Anyone you might be aware of at Bucknell or Susquehanna University?
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