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Berghia Nudibranch

Discussion in 'Fish, Anemone's and Critters' started by Funkymonkey, Jan 12, 2012.

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  1. Funkymonkey

    Funkymonkey Registered

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    Stephanieae Aeolidiidae, Berghia Nudibranchs or verrucicornis

    by Burt Published on 21-10-2009


    Description:
    A sea slug that preys exclusively on pest Aiptasia anemones (spp.). A white-coloured sea slug (family Aeolidiidae) with beige colour at the base of its gill filaments. In well-fed individuals, the gill filaments may contain more brown colour from ingested zooxanthellae.

    Natural Ecology:
    The xooxanthellae ingested with Aiptasia tissues reside within Berghia briefly before it is expelled, giving its gills a brown colour. It is not known whether Berghia utilizes photosynthates from the zooxanthellae, or that the algal endosymbionts are simply passing through. The tendency for Berghia to hide in dark recesses and their survival in dimly lit tanks suggests that they are not dependent on the zooxanthellae.

    [​IMG]

    Berghia eating an Aiptasia Anemone

    Indigenous To:
    Caribbean Sea.

    Behaviour:
    A sea slug that preys exclusively on pest Aiptasia Anemone (Aiptasia spp.). Berghia will hide in crevices away from light, only coming out to feed on Aiptasia in the dark. When the Berghia population is substantial and Aiptasia are becoming scarce, Berghia may be forced to forage even during lit hours.

    Compatibility:
    Berghia will ignore other reef invertebrates and corals, and is ideal for coral reef aquaria. There are no reported cases of predation on Berghia, although certain species of Wrasse and Hawkish, some shrimp and carnivorous crab are opportune feeders and if they don?t succeed in eating the Berghia will severely damage them in the attempt.

    Food:
    Aiptasia Anemone. Berghia-UK specimens have been raised on a strict diet of Aiptasia tissue, and will continue to prey exclusively on Aiptasia anemones.
    Max Size: 1.5 inches.

    [​IMG]


    Aiptasia Anemone

    Habitat Zone:
    Reef flats.

    Depth:
    Not described. Probably shallow, but absent from the intertidal zone.

    Considerations:
    Aiptasia are prolific pests in coral reef aquaria. These anemones have powerful stings that discourage full polyp extension and local colonization of ornamental corals and zooanthids. Berghia is the most effective means of Aiptasia eradication because Berghia feed exclusively on Aiptasia. Less effective means of Aiptasia control include the Copperband Butterfly (Chelmon rostratus) and the Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemani), both of which will sometimes graze on ornamental corals or eat in preference to Aiptasia. Effective and quick eradication of Aiptasia can be achieved by stocking one Berghia per 5 gallons of aquarium volume, depending on the number of Aiptasia present. It may be economical to seed the aquarium with three or four Berghia to begin a culture, since these sea slugs are simultaneous hermaphrodites and will mate upon most encounters. It is generally a good idea to cover filter intakes with foam or coarse sponge to prevent the unintended death of Berghia.

    Hardiness:
    Berghia-UK specimens are well adapted to captivity. Sensitive to rapid water temperature and Ph fluctuations.

    Min. Aquarium Size:
    2 gallons
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2014
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