Benthic Deepwater Animal Identification Guide

About the Guide

The Benthic Deepwater Animal Identification Guide is a collection of in situ images created from video frame grabs taken from images collected by the Deep Discoverer (D2) remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The Guide serves as a taxonomic reference of deepwater animals encountered during D2 ROV dives in 2015 and 2016 around the Hawaiian Archipelago, Johnston Atoll, the Marianas Archipelago, and Wake Island.

Identifications are updated on a periodic basis, as errors are detected and reported by taxonomists and others using the guide or when taxonomic revisions are made to the various groups included here. Taxonomic revisions are particularly common for deepwater animals, which are poorly known; therefore, we expect routine updates to continue to occur.

The Guide is organized according to major taxa. Identifications were made with assistance from taxonomic experts who specialize in deepwater animals. Experts provided their assistance through various venues that included audio commentary and event log entries while the ROV dives were taking place, post-dive email correspondence, and examination of images prior to the images being posted on this website.

Use the "Available Taxa" navigation menu to explore the taxonomic groups and animals that are represented in the Guide. Each animal image includes a colored square to indicate the depth at which the image was taken (see depth key below) as well as a code for the ocean and region where the image was taken (see region key below). Image headers provide an animal's species/genus name and a series of letters and numbers which correspond to "ROV - Expedition Number - Leg Number (if the cruise has a leg identifier) - Dive Number - Hour - Minutes - Seconds" (for example, "D2-EX1504-L4-01-01:25:15"). Additional taxonomic information about the animal is located below the image.

Citation Information

Please cite this animal guide in the following manner:

NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research Benthic Deepwater Animal Identification Guide. Available from https://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/animal_guide/animal_guide.html.

 

Note: The Guide was originally produced as a pilot project to share results of previous exploration work. We welcome your input and recommendations as we evaluate the best approach to continue development of the Guide as new images become available.

Depth Key (meters)

0-200
200-400
400-600
600-800
800-1000
1000-3000
3000-5000
>5000

Region Key

Ocean/Sea
A=Atlantic
I=Indian
M=Mediterranian
P=Pacific
R=Arctic
S=Southern
Region
ASC=American Samoa & Cook Islands
JNA=Johnston Atoll
MAR=Marianas
MHI=Main Hawaiian Islands
NHI=NW Hawaiian Islands
PRP=Pacific Remote Islands & Phoenix Island
WKI=Wake Island

The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research is extremely appreciative of the following experts who contributed to this effort:

Animal Guide Online Development:

  • Charles Carleton - NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

Taxonomic Identification:

Annelids

  • Dr. Karen Osborn - National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian)

Arthropods

  • Dr. Mary Wicksten - Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Enrique Macpherson - Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Blanes (CSIC)
  • Dr. Keiji Baba - Kumamoto University
  • Dr. Carol Hickman - University of California, Berkeley
  • Dr. Bob Van Syoc - California Academy of Sciences
  • Dr. Buz Wilson - Saugatuck Natural History Laboratory
  • Mr. Tom Hansknecht - Barry Vittor and Associates, Inc.

Cnidarians

  • Dr. Scott France - University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • Dr. Les Watling - University of Hawaii
  • Dr. Tina Molodsova - P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology
  • Dr. Steven Cairns - National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian)
  • Dr. Dennis Opresko - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Dr. Asako Matsumoto - Chiba Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Nadya Sanamyan - Kamchatka Branch of Pacific Institute of Geography
  • Dr. Daniel Wagner - NOAA Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
  • Dr. Amy Baco-Taylor - Florida State University
  • Dr. Allen Collins - National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian)
  • Dr. Phil Alderslade - CSIRO
  • Dr. Estefania Rodriguez - American Museum of Natural History
  • Ms. Abby LaPointe - University of Hawaii

Echinoderms

  • Dr. Christopher Mah - National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian)
  • Dr. Andrey Gebruk - P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology
  • Dr. Charles Messing - Nova Southeastern University
  • Dr. Richard Mooi - California Academy of Sciences
  • Dr. David Pawson - National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian)
  • Dr. Tina Molodsova - P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology
  • Dr. Alexander Mironov - P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology
  • Dr. Doug Eenisse - University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Dr. Marc Eleaume - Museum National D'Histoire Naturelle
  • Dr. Michel Roux - Museum National D'Histoire Naturelle

Other Invertebrates

  • Dr. Pamela Neubert - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Dr. Jessica Goodheart - National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian)
  • Mr. Robert Moffitt - NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
  • Dr. Claudia Mills - University of Washington
  • Dr. Erik V. Thuesen - The Evergreen State College
  • Dr. Michael Vecchione - National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian)
  • Dr. George Matsumoto - MBARI

Sponges

  • Dr. Konstantin Tabachnick - P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology
  • Dr. Henry Reiswig - University of Victoria
  • Dr. Rob van Soest - Naturalis Biodiversity Center
  • Dr. Christopher Kelley - University of Hawaii

Fishes

  • Mr. Bruce Mundy - NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
  • Dr. Kenneth Sulak - United States Geological Survey
  • Dr. Jorgen Nielsen - University of Copenhagen
  • Dr. Tomio Iwamoto - California Academy of Sciences
  • Dr. John McCosker - California Academy of Sciences
  • Dr. Andrea Quattrini - Harvey Mudd College
  • Dr. Dominique Didier - Millersville University
  • Dr. David Ebert - Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
  • Dr. Mackenzie Gerringer - University of Hawaii
  • Dr. Hsuan-Ching (Hans) Ho - National Museum of Marine Biology, Taiwan
  • Ms. Astrid Leitner - University of Hawaii
  • Dr. Peter Møller - Natural History Museum of Denmark
  • Dr. Werner Schwarzhans - University of Copenhagen
  • Dr. David Smith - U.S. National Museum of Natural History

OER is also appreciative of Virginia Moriwake, Sarah Bingo, and Meagan Putts, University of Hawaii, for assisting Dr. Christopher Kelley in the significant amount of work involved in assembling this guide.

If you find any errors in the identifications, please email Dr. Christopher Kelley.