It's always fun to see a strange "new" creature under the microscope, but occasionally you see something that just makes you smile and ponder how bizarre and wonderful the world of micro-creatures is.
This was one of those subjects for me. Perhaps not really "micro"... I figure the body of this one was about 7 to 10mm long (not including antennae)... but a microscope was necessary to really appreciate it.
It's a small amphipod, in the Caprellidae family. This one came on board in a small piece of dense diatom "mat" (same piece that had the hydrozoan I posted yesterday). Very odd looking. The gnathapods give it a slight praying mantis "look", but it's got appendages coming out all over the place.
Two sets of antennae, branchiae down the ventral side, and at the back end are six very articulated hooks. (When I observed it in the sample tank it appeared to use these to attach itself very effectively to the diatom mass).
These pictures were taken with the 4/0.16 S Plan Apo. The way I'm set up that yields an 8.35X magnification on sensor. The first and last image represent a field size of about 2.7mm left to right (center one is cropped a little). Top image is slightly cross-polarized brightfield, the other two are darkfield.
Images made through a microscope. All subject types.