Help Identify: Zebra Footed Jelly Crab?

Help us identify this Roatan Honduras reef creature!

  • Found in ~50 of water off Harold's Hotel Nov. 7th
  • Was floating off the reef, and tucked back under the coral when we neared it
  • Was the size of a homemade cookie
  • Had a giant "plus" mark across its back
  • Looked like a jellyfish or an detached anemone
  • Appeared to have moved deliberately like a crab or lobster
  • Semi-transparent Has zebra-like stripes on it's feet/tentacles/fingers

Creatures of the Deep

Every now and then, you come across a creature in the sea that you may or may not be able to recognize.  Many divers carry a version of the DeLoach books, which are great resources for identifying animals, or offering information on where they may be found.

But every now and then, you also find a creature that isn't in any of the books. And because many of us are not scientists, fish ID experts or marine biologists, we're left with a terrible video from our vacation as the last hope.

Find People Smarter Than You

When you do locate such a creature, it's time to fall back on the experts - the fish ID experts, the biologists, the "nerds" of the type of creature you are looking for, or a Divemaster.  Someone will know, right?

We fell onto some great fish ID experts both in the Caribbean, and also specific to Roatan for our "zebra footed jelly crab".  Some guesses were made, but nothing seemed to match the description exactly.  And, how could it - the video was terrible.

And then, someone came close with "Flabelina engeli".  Say that fast, three times.

The truth is, we never could give a positive ID on the creature, so we'll keep diving and looking.

Go diving. See weird stuff.