Double gribble trouble

Oh, those gribbles. So cute, but so hungry. A bit of the nibbled slipway came into the hands of Cat who used her USB microscope to study it: only to discover that it was still very much occupied!

It seems possible from the four spots on the rear end of this little chap that the species represented here is Limnoria quadripunctata Holthuis, 1949; but in the absence of any online gribble guide it’s hard to be sure. Any gribble experts want to speculate?
[Update: see comments below for elucidation]

UPDATE: The release of the gribble armada After our brave little TV stars had managed to survive over 24 hours away from seawater they were starting to look a bit sluggish when asked to perform yet again under the lights this morning at work. The Ranger decided they needed to be given a fighting chance to go off and nibble some toff’s yacht in Cowes. So down to the river Medina went the gribbles, wrapped in a magazine, and they were sent off in a little flotilla of wooden fragments.

Welease the gwibbles!

7 thoughts on “Double gribble trouble”

  1. Just to say that the four greenish “spots” that you see on the telson (back end) of this little fella are a type of epibionts called folliculinids. The “spots” normally used to identify the species are more like little bumps, and are generally difficult to see as they are the same colour as the exoskeleton (you need to hit the light at the right angle to be able to see them)… The common species found down the south coast are either L. quadripunctata (with 4 bumps as rightly said) or L. tripunctata (you guessed, 3 bumps). Yes, people do care…

    The Ranger responds: thanks very much for that – folliculinids are a new one on me so I was very interested to learn about them.

  2. All life is precious, except maybe one’s inlaws and those horrid little things. Come to think of it, they move like my cousin’s teenage son, heading for the refridgerator.

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