from the specimen drawer

from the specimen drawer

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Symbion Limerick

Sorry for the delay in getting your invertebrate limericks out, Jason R.! For your long wait, I give you not just one of the requested limericks about Symbions but two! And because I was so mentally exhausted coming up with these, instead of a third limerick about the slipper lobster (scyllarid) as you asked, I wrote you an aquatic animal alphabet anecdote to lighten my mood after my brain taxing.

Thanks for introducing the Symbion to me. I knew nothing of this animal and, frankly, after doing research for limerick inspiration, happily close the chapter on these odd little commensal symbionts. So here are your two limericks (finally!) and a little slipper lobster story. And by the way, for those of you who are not familiar with Symbions, here is a photo of one (or, um, two? Soon to be three?) from

photo copyright Peter Funch (University of Copenhagen)

1 = adhesive disk attached to lobster mouth part; 2 = male on asexual feeding body waiting for female to bud to have sex with; 3 = anus of feeding body; 4 = mouth of feeding body.

Here we go...

The Symbion

The symbion’s a weird, little topic
It’s sac-like and hardly exotic.
Stuck on with a disc
To its host-lobster’s “lips”
eating leftovers in size microscopic

Symbion “Love”

No pooping and (like always) no kissing
Cause his mouth and his anus are missing
two sex-organs knock-up
a she-symbion bud
Of romance, there’ll be no reminiscing.

A Slipper Lobster Story

Scylarrid strolled silently southward, shoveling through sediment searching for something satisfying to swallow. Sadly, the search was sabotaged by seventy six stupid spiny lobsters sneaking by single-file. Scylarrid circumnavigated the shenanigans slowly, scowling severely at number sixty seven who he seriously suspected stole his scallops on Saturday. Soon the scene was sublime and Scyllarid slippered somewhere safe and submerged himself in the sand and said, sotto voce, "so-much for a scrumptious seafood snack" and seethed until supper.