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"To be carried or transported by chance or unintentionally" - such is Webster's definition of hitchhiking. In this first of a series of ReefSlides, we feature some common aquarium inhabitants that freeload their way into our aquariums via live rock, corals or live sand. Often these uninvited guests are harmless and benign, or even beneficial, yet on some occasions they can wreck havoc on the aquarium's existing inhabitants, as is the case with "red bugs," Tegastes acroporanus, on Acropora. Some of these organisms are so small, the aquarist may not notice their existence until a thorough, close inspection is performed. Even after a close inspection, quite a few plants or organisms can escape initial detection. To learn more about specific hitchhikers, follow any of the links provided below:

Photos by Reef Central members. Text by Skip Attix.

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