While sorting out my hatchlings (Nucella lamellosa and N. ostrina) I came across something bizarre. A tiny red dot to the eye, a grotesque writhing blob under the microscope. What is it? Although difficult to see, it clearly has segmented appendages in the anterior region, making it an arthropod. If it was just a segmented body, then it could be an annelid (polychaete) worm, which would not have surprised me considering their amazing diversity of shapes and colours.
Past that I’m rather unsure. It may have two pairs of antennae, meaning its not an insect.
Why would I even think its an insect at all? I found it in the ocean! Well there’s a rather cool fly in the genus Oedoparena whose larvae eat barnacles. I have been feeding my hatchlings barnacles, so perhaps. It doesn’t look quite right though when compared to the only drawing I could find from the Habits and Life history of Oedoparena glauca (Diptera, Dryomyzide), a Predator of Barnacles:
The invertebrate world is full of wierd and wonderful beasts, and there’s no cheat sheet. I wish I knew what it was!