Marine Invertebrates

Clockwise from top-left

- Blood Star by Jamie Canepa

- Common Shore Crab (Carcinus maenas) by Jon Olav

- Crab by JacobNano

- California Navanax

- Painted Top Shell (Calliostoma zizyphinum) by Jon Olav

- Pink Shrimp by Jon Olav

There are numerous and diverse species of temperate marine invertebrates, all having evolved to occupy different ecological niches presented in temperate environments. Multiple species of marine invertebrates are often the backbone of the cleanup crew in an aquarium since they get rid of excess food and help control algae. Crabs are excellent scavengers in temperate aquaria, however, as they age some species become aggressive and attack small fish and other invertebrates as well as steal food from anemones.

When acquiring species with specialized diets, such as nudibranchs and sea slugs, it is necessary that the diet of these animals is known and that the diet can be adequately provided for in the home aquarium.


Black Katy Chiton (Katharina tunicata) • Mossy Chiton (Mopalia muscosa) • Line Chiton (Tonicella lineata)


Pacific Sand Crab (Blepharipoda occidentalis) • Ghost Crab (Ocypode quadrata) • Striped Shore Crab (Pachygrapsus cassipes) • Marble Rock Crab (Pachygrapsus marmoratus)


Volcano Limpet (Fissurella volcano) • Shield Limpet (Lottia pelta) • Giant Keyhole Limpet (Megathura crenulata) • Common Limpet (Patella vulgata) • Chilean Abalone (Concholepas concholepas)


California Bubble Shell (Bulla gouldiana) • Brown Bubble Shell (Bulla quoyii) • Purple Ring Top Snail (Calliostoma annulatum) • Pearly Top (Calliostoma occidentale) • Red Top Snail (Lithopoma gibberosa) • Greenland Top Snail (Margarites groenlandicus) • Brown Turban Snail (Tegula brunnea) • Black Turban Snail (Tegula funebralis)

Nudibranchs & Sea Slugs

Orange-peel Doris (Acanthodoris lutea) • California Sea Slug (Aplysia californica) • Spanish Shawl (Flabellina iodinea)California Navanax (Navanax inermis)