An organism on Caulerpa prolifera

December 19, 2003
From: Levent Cavas

Dear Sir,
I saw an interesting organism on Caulerpa prolifera in my aquarium. Some parts of fronds were destroyed by this organism.
Do you know what it is?
Best regards,

Levent Cavas
Research Assistant
Dokuz Eylul University
Department of Biochemistry
Kaynaklar Campus, Izmir

Cavas, L., 2003 (Dec 19) An organism on Caulerpa prolifera. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Levent,
I've had a look at your photos and I guess what you are interested in are the 'things' producing the long spiderweb-like threads in the water? If so, my only guess is that they are benthic ctenophores. I have a photo in the Forum of a tropical species in which the long threads are retracted. The threads are used to catch small planktonic animals.

If my guess is correct, then you should be able to poke one off the Caulerpa and have a look at it. Each animal should produce 2 threads. I'm not an expert on ctenophores so I could of course be quite wrong. I don't even know if benthic ctenophores occur in the Mediterranean. Let me know what you think

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Dec 19). Comment on An organism on Caulerpa prolifera by Levent Cavas. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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