A huge diversity of marine invertebrates inhabit Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge’s lagoon and surrounding waters, including algae, corals, worms, snails, and seashells. A total of 29 species of coral have been recorded at Midway Atoll, along with more than 100 species of algae, including a seaweed species new to science, Dudresnaya babbittiana. Marine habitats, including spurs, grooves, and sand channels, are home to several algaes, seagrass meadows, urchins, bivalve clams, sponges, and more. Common species observed include the rock-boring urchin (Echinometra mathaei – pictured below), long-spined sea urchin (Diadema paucispinum), needle spine urchin (Echinostrephus aciculatus – pictured below), pied brittle star (Ophiocoma pica), sacoglossan sea slug (Plakobranchus ocellatus), and Rhynchocinetes species (shrimp).
For more information about Midway’s other marine life (including algae, corals, snails, and seashells, mollusks, crustaceans, and more), check out the USFWS checklist here.