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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Department of Invertebrate Zoology

Sapphirina auronitens

A drawing by Giesbrecht (1892) of the Copepoda, Sapphirina auronitens Claus, 1863


  • The Giant Amazon Leech (Haementeria ghilianii de Filippi, 1849) is the world's largest leech, growing to a length of 18 inches (45.7 cm), and possibly living as long as 20 years.

  • Read about the destructive activity of Fallicambarus devastator

  • First Report of Gall-Inhabiting Poecilostome Copepod from a Scleractinian Coral

  • What may look like a Chinese dragon is in reality the head of the quarter-inch long marine isopod crustacean

  • These mature tiger cowries have been collected from the Indian, North and South Pacific Oceans, where live specimens can be found in variable depths on reefs and under coral rocks.

  • First Report of a Syllid Polychaete Association with an Antipatharian Coral

  • Find these creatures near volcanic vents along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where superheated water and dissolved gases spew out from cracks in the earth's surface at the bottom of the sea.

  • Vestimentifera (vent worms) live in deep-sea hydrothermal vents (up to 2 miles below the ocean surface) around volcanic sulfide plumes.

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Amazing Coral Formations
The NMNH coral collection is unarguably the largest, most important, and best documented in the world.

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