Episode 1002: Cryptic Critters

Right under the noses of thousands of scuba divers, a potential new threat appeared on the Vandenberg wreck off Key West, Florida. It is not surprising that it went unnoticed, since it is the width of a pencil eraser, barely the length of your finger, and perfectly camouflaged. Thankfully, one expert spotted it and immediately knew it didn’t belong.
It turns out it was a new species: the Vandy worm-snail. Worm-snails can be of concern because they potentially damage coral and transmit parasites that can infect sea turtles. Researchers want to know where this worm-snail came from, how it got there, and whether this is the start of the next harmful invasion.

Experts

Meet the experts featured in this episode.

Special Thanks:


Best Western Key Ambassador

3755 S. Roosevelt Blvd.
Key West, FL 33040
(305) 296-3500


Looe Key Reef Resort and Dive Center
27340 Overseas Hwy
Ramrod Key, FL 33042
(305) 872-2215


Captain's Corner Dive Center

125 Ann St.
Key West, FL 33040
(305) 296-8865



Southpoint Divers

606 Front St.
Key West, FL 33040
(305) 292-9778

Image Credits

Changing Seas would like to thank the following individuals and institutions who kindly allowed their footage, images and other media to be used in this production:


Anke Bieler

Rüdiger Bieler

Oceana

Randy Wentling

iStock by Getty Images

David Sirak

Andre Breves , CEADS-UERJ

Cody Daniells

David Liittschwager

Natural History Museum Rotterdam, Joop

Petra Sierwald

Brian Stacy, NOAA


Special Thanks:

The Field Museum of Natural History


Funding for this episode of Changing Seas was provided by: