Aquarium of Salento | The submerged cave

THE SUBMERGED CAVE (tanks 1 and 2)

The submerged cave > It is made up of a double tank which represents the karst cavity (the front one) and the open sea (the rear one), simulating the suggestions of a real immersion. It hosts life forms that prefer not very bright environments. In the cave it is possible to observe the locust lobster and the slipper lobster; the Bonellia Viridis, very interesting invertebrate object of important research; sponges and crabs.

Apogon Imberbis > Known as the king of mullet or red cardinal fish, it is a saltwater fish of the family Apogonidae. Apogon imberbis is a common species in the Mediterranean Sea and in the eastern Atlantic, from Portugal to the Gulf of Guinea, on the coasts of the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands. It lives at -1 to -250 meters deep, in groups of many individuals that gather in caves and dark areas.

Sleepy crab or porter crab > The porter crab looks as if he were carrying a suitcase or a backpack. It is called sleepy crab because the sponge can also resemble a blanket. This crab lives together with a sponge, but the crab grows very fast, while the sponge grows slowly. So at some point, after a couple of moults, when the porter crab has become big enough and its sponge seems very small, it throws away the old sponge and cuts its own, made to measure. It puts the new sponge on its back and holds it still with the last pair of legs. Crabs have five pairs of legs, which is why they call them decapods.

Magnosella or Small european locust lobster > The Small European locust lobster is an arthropod of the subphylum Crustacean, class Malacostraca, order Decapods, suborder Reptanti Macruri. Arthropods means “possessing articulated legs” and the phylum Arthropods is the largest in the animal kingdom, both the submarine one and in general. They are like dark, black cicadas.

Magnosa or mediterranean slipper lobster > They are called Mediterranean slipper lobster. The body is segmented with three regions: head, thorax and abdomen, all three (except in rare cases, such as the hermit crab) covered with a hard protective exoskeleton. As the animal grows, it loses its old shell and acquires a new one with the hardening of the cuticle below the old one. Slipper lobsters grow up to 45 cm.

Bonellia viridis or green spoon worm > Bonellia viridis is a worm that belongs to the phylum Echiuridae. The term Worms is generic and is used in our analysis as a convenient catalogue to indicate a great variety of organisms that look similar with an elongated and flexible body. The body, shaped like a sausage, is similar to that of the Sipunculid, and a long proboscis, at the base of which there is the mouth, depart from the body. The rounded body of the female lives hidden in crevices of the substrate, while the long tubular proboscis ending in T-shaped folds extends nearby to look for food. Just a few millimetres long, the male lives inside the female’s body as a parasite. It lives in rocky and detrital bottoms full of ravines.