Collection Data

Page Contents: Section | Significance | Background | Location & Dates | Taxonomic Contents | Documentation | Description of Collection | Collection Inventory | Collection Assets

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands 2006

Section Responsible for Processing



French Frigate Shoals is part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) and recently designated (June 2006) as the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. It is the single largest conservation area in the world. With approximately 140,00 square miles of Pacific Ocean, it is larger than all US national parks combined. By virtue of the areas remote location the marine habitats surrounding the islands have experienced little direct human perturbation and thus serve as a model ecosystem.

One of the major objectives of this survey was to document the biodiversity of reef-associated non-coral invertebrates. The focus was on inconspicuous, small invertebrates (1-20 cm). This survey discovered new species and expanded the ranges of known species to the NWHI, the state of Hawai'i, and the biogeographic region.

Photo credits for the 2006 French Frigate Shoals (FFS) cruise are as follows:
"courtesy of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands State Marine Refuge, and NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in accordance with permit numbers NWHIMNM-2006-015, 2006-01, 2006-017, and DLNR.NWHI06R021 and associated amendments"

For complete details of photo usage please refer to PDF.


A month long cruise lead by PI Dr. Rusty Brainard (NOAA, CReefs), was addtionally supported by co-PIs Drs. Jody Martin (NHMLAC) and Gustav Paulay (Florida Natural History Museum) and others.

Funding from NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, the Sloan Foundation/Census of Marine Life/ Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Florida Natural History Museum, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, University of Hawaii, University of Guam, National Park Service, and the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument contributed to the estimated $900,000 cost of the study and includes in-kind support.

After the cruise the specimens were temporarily housed by NOAA-CReefs before being sent to NHMLAC, FNHM, and other institutions for research and final deposition.

As of August 2007 no publications resulting from this expedition have been submitted.

Collection Location and Dates

This cruise took place October 2006. Sampling methods included SCUBA collections by hand and air-lift as well as, ship-based dredges and traps. The cruise report includes map, station data, collecting methods, and summaries of collecting activity and can be retrieved from this site.

Taxonomic Contents

Cruise participants collected according to their taxonomic expertise and taxa were returned to their home institutions. NHMLAC participants Dr. Jody Martin (Curator, Crustacea) and Leslie Harris (Collection Manager, Polychaetes) emphasized decapod crustaceans and polychaete worms. Additional specimens of cryptofauna were retained by Harris. Total number of lots (each containing one to many individuals) returned to NHMLAC included:

Decapoda - 518
Pericarida - 112
Misc. - 7
Polychaetes - 401
Bryozoa - 4
Cnidaria - 2
Echinodermata - 11
Enteropneusta - 3
Mollusca - 23
Nemertea - 15
Sipuncula - 8
Brachiopoda - 2

Unsorted wash samples - 8


Collection data were received as an Excel spreadsheet. It is available from this page.

Habitat type abbreviations:
ASR = ark shell reef
BR = back reef
DBT = deep bank top (note from Russ - "which may not be all that deep in some cases, but please ignore that fact")
DRS = deep reef slope
FR = forereef (5m, 10m, and 25m)
HAL = Halimeda bed
IS = intertidal (Tern Island can be added to the locality field whenever IS is the habitat as this is the only intertidal locality)
LPR = lagoon patch reef
LS = lagoon sand
RC = reef crest

Collecting method:
ALGAL = algae collections (hand collection of algal specimens)
ARMS = artificial reef matrix structures
BAIT = baited traps
DREDGE = scoop designed dredge
EKMAN = Ekman grab
HAND = hand collection
LIGHT = light trap
MICRO = microbial collections (not sure is any of our stuff would fall under this one. See pg. 42 of attached cruise report)
PLANK = plankton net
RUBBRU = rubble brushing (a soft hand brush was used to dislodge invertebrates from rubble. Loose rubble is held over a basket lined with a fine screen and lightly brushed so the animals fall/swim into the bucket.)
RUBEX = rubble extraction (20-40 cm loose rubble pieces placed in a 5 gallon bucket and raised to the surface)
SAND = sand sampling (sand is sieved underwater over a 1mm mesh screen)
SUCT = suction/vacuum (organisms are lifted off exposed hard surfaces through suction generated by compressed air into a 2-4" diameter pipe then captured in a mesh bag tied at the end of the pipe.)
YAB = yabbie pump

LP = La Perouse Pinnacle is a place name.

Description of Collection

All specimens were wet-preserved with an estimated 1106 lots sorted to family, genus, or morphospecies. There are 8 lots of unsorted wash samples containing mostly unsorted polychaetes and peracarids.

Samples were fixed in either 5% formalin, 70% ethanol, or 95% ethanol. Formalin-fixed specimens were transferred to 70% alchohol August 2007. All samples preserved for future molecular work were retained by Dr. Gustav Paulay (Florida Natural History Museum).

Curation is ongoing August 2007. After curation the decapods will be moved to Martin's office, polychaetes to Harris' office, other crustaceans, molluscs, & echinoderms distributed to respective sections, and minor phyla shelved in the basement MBPC collection facility.

Collection Inventory

The collection received by the NHMLAC August 2007 contains approximately 1,106 lots with a minimum of 1,523 specimens.

Collection Assets

Date View or Retrieve File Information
01/27/2010 Retrieve [274.6 kB] Description of photo usage and photo credit.
12/06/2008 View [1590.2 kB] French Frigate Shoals.
12/06/2008 View [448.6 kB] Rare barnacle inside hermit crab shell, photo by Leslie Harris.
12/06/2008 View [454.2 kB] Frenulina sanguinolenta brachiopod, photo by Leslie Harris.
12/06/2008 View [805.7 kB] Leslie Harris and Cory Pittman, photo by Andy Collin.
12/06/2008 View [687.7 kB] Jody Martin at work, photo by Jim Maragos.
12/06/2008 View [421.3 kB] R/V Oscar-Elton-Sette, photo by John Starmer.
12/06/2008 View [720.5 kB] Leslie Harris and Jody Martin in the lab, photo by John Starmer.
12/06/2008 View [437.3 kB] Nereididae epitoke, photo by Leslie Harris.
12/06/2008 View [221.4 kB] Pontonin shrimp, photo by Leslie Harris.
12/06/2008 View [380.3 kB] Xanthid crab, photo by Leslie Harris.
12/06/2008 View [591.2 kB] Samples, photo by Russell Moffitt.
12/06/2008 View [590.7 kB] ARMS, photographer unknown.
12/06/2008 View [334.7 kB] Scientists, photo by Andy Collin.
09/05/2008 View [1551.4 kB] Paguridae, photo by K. Omura.
09/05/2008 View [517.3 kB] Assorted Crustacea, photo by K. Omura.
09/05/2008 View [380.5 kB] Leucosiidae from bait trap, photo by K. Omura.
09/05/2008 View [516.0 kB] Goneplacidae with barnacles attached, photo by K. Omura.
08/08/2007 Retrieve [308.0 kB] Original excel spreadsheet with all station/field data.
08/08/2007 Retrieve [795.4 kB] Cruise Report.
08/08/2007 Retrieve [397.0 kB] Jody Martin specimen identifications and annotations.
08/08/2007 Retrieve [199.5 kB] Leslie Harris specimen identifications and annotations.
08/08/2007 Retrieve [164.5 kB] Updated excel spreadsheet used to populate MBPC lot database.

Curatorial Status (Click to view)