Benthic Deepwater Animal Identification Guide V3

About the Guide

Welcome to the third version of OER’s Benthic Deepwater Animal Identification Guide, a collection of in situ images created from video frame grabs taken from Deep Discoverer (D2) remotely operated vehicle (ROV) video. The first pilot version of the guide served as a taxonomic reference of deep water animals encountered during D2 ROV dives around the Hawaiian Archipelago and Johnston Atoll in 2015. The second version included images of animals encountered during both 2015 and 2016 expeditions, the latter involving D2 dives in Hawaiian Archipelago, The Marianas Archipelago, and Wake Island. This third version of the guide adds all the images of animals encountered during the 2017 expeditions involving D2 dives in the South Pacific, Johnston Atoll, and the Musicians seamounts. This version now includes all of the animal images from the entire 3 year CAPSTONE campaign in the Pacific. We welcome your input and recommendations as we evaluate whether, and the best approach, to continue development of the guide as new images become available.

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

The guide is organized according to major taxa and identifications were made with assistance from taxonomic experts who specialize in deep water 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 these images just prior to them being mounted on this website.

Please cite this animal guide in the following manner:

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

Those of you who have used version 2 of this guide will be familiar with the header on each of the images, which did not change in this 3rd version. For those of you who are new to the guide, the left side of the header has a box that contains a code for the ocean and region where the image was taken (see region key below). Next to that is a colored square to indicate the depth at which the image was taken (see depth key below). In the middle of the header is the animal's identification, as best we can determine at this time, 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.

Depth Key (meters)

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


Each image is tagged with a color square that provides a general indication of the depth the image was taken.

Region Key

Ocean/Sea
A=Atlantic
I=Indian
M=Mediterranean
P=Pacific
R=Arctic
S=Southern
Region
ASC=American Samoa & Cook Islands
HPT=Howland, Baker Islands, Phoenix Islands, & Tokelau
JNA=Johnston Atoll
LNI=Line Islands
MAR=Marianas
MHI=Main Hawaiian Islands
MUS=Musicians Seamounts
NHI=NW Hawaiian Islands
WKI=Wake Island

Each image is tagged with a region square that provides a general indication of the ocean basin and region where the image was taken.


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)
  • David Moffitt - NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)
  • John Chase - NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER)

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.
  • Dr. Marina Malyutina - Russian Academy of Sciences

Cnidarians

  • Dr. Scott France - University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • Dr. Les Watling - University of Hawaii
  • Dr. Tina Molodtsova - 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 Molodtsova - 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
  • Dr. Tim O'Hara - Museum Victoria

Other Invertebrates

  • Dr. Karen Sanamyan - Kamchatka Branch of Pacific Institute of Geography
  • 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. 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
  • Dr. Hsuan Ching (Hans) Ho - National Dong Hwa University

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 Virginia Moriwake.