Whidbey Island Critters

Fish & Invertebrate sightings and descriptions, hosted by resident NWDC ID expert Janna Nichols (nwscubamom).
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:20 am

While the Fish-eating anemone is common on the open coast or close to it, it is rare in Whidbey Island waters.
I was surprised to find it at Keystone. On the other hand, the Pink-tipped anemones are found in many places around the island...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:41 am

The winter temperatures are beginning to be felt even underwater.
On the bright side, I spotted Sunflower stars in two locations on Whidbey Island, Langley and Keystone.
I am hoping they will survive and multiply...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:20 pm

I did not see them, but there was an article about orcas in Holmes Harbor , I know they don't feed on Ghost shrimp, but Gray whales are sometimes sighted in nearby Saratoga Passage.

Whidbey Examiner - Gray whales spotted by Admiralty Inlet shore Ron Newberry
Wed Apr 20th, 2016 4:39pm
Garrett said he and others with the network were wondering if they might be part of the group of about 10 to 12 grays that annually return in the spring to South Whidbey to feed on ghost shrimp mostly in Saratoga Passage and Possession Sound.
On Saturday, a pod of Southern Resident orcas passed through Admiralty Inlet and were headed back to the San Juans following an extended stay in Saratoga Passage and Holmes Harbor.
Reports of 11 or 12 orcas spent five consecutive days traveling in and out of Holmes Harbor, which is rare place for the marine mammals to venture.

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oldsalt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby oldsalt » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:49 pm

Jan: Since ghost shrimp is a favored food of gray whales, do you get them feeding in Holmes Harbor? The last gray I have seen locally was on the day after Thanksgiving near Hat Island. I saw many grays migrating south off the Washington and Oregon coasts the first week of the month.
-Curt :rawlings:
Happy to be alive.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:08 am

Holmes Harbor dive. Sand, sand and more sand. Beneath the surface is Ghost shrimp megalopolis, but none of them venture out into the world above. In the 74 minute long dive I saw only two fish, one Shiner perch and one Starry flounder. Interestingly, at this locality I found right and left-eye Starry flounders. There used to be lots of Sanddab flatfish, lots of Shiners swimming through the Eel grass. I wonder what happened ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:19 am

This might be, or not, of interest to my fellow nudibranch enthusiasts. What we called up to now Shaggy Mouse nudibranch (Aeolidia papillosa), could be Aeolidia loui since their distribution is obviously extended to our Northwest Pacific waters after the paper was published in November 2016. After I read the part describing how to tell them apart, I went through my photos of these slugs and found that I photographed BOTH in our waters. I asked the expert and got confirmation ID. So look into your photo files and check the rhinophores closely for warts, there might be loui looking back at you :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:06 am

Add some color in our cold and gray January world.
Crimson anemone scene.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:40 am

Wrinkled amphissa snail is a very common scavenger in our waters.
But no too often I find them in such numbers...
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ScubaJess
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby ScubaJess » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:20 am

Wow interesting! I think I saw some of that from the ferry on my way from Muck to Clinton last time and though it was Styrofoam drifting or something? Thanks for teaching us so much Jan! :)
Live Long And Prosper!!!

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:07 am

As I was walking along our local beach, sea foam caught my attention.
Later I researched it a little and found that there is much more to it than just bubbles ...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:01 am

January 1, 2017. Starting the new year with dive at Keystone Jetty,
cold northerly wind and not so good visibility underwater.
But there is always something to see there :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:20 am

Last dive of 2016. Sea star survey under the Coupeville wharf.
There are only two sea star species found here, but plenty of them and at this moment, all healthy ! :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:20 am

Winter at Possession Point Fingers, time when sculpins lay their eggs.
While the fish themselves are pretty well camouflaged, some of their
egg masses, especially the ones of Buffalo sculpins, stand out quite well.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:03 pm

These days, the rocks of Keystone Jetty are occupied by hundreds of hermit crabs.
Many of them seem to be saying good bye to solitary life of a hermit :)
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ScubaJess
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby ScubaJess » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:07 pm

Wow really cool Jan!
I've only seen one of those at Sunrise. It's so cool you found one at Keystone! I'll have to be on the lookout next time. :-)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:05 pm

fmerkel wrote:Back up camera. We now know what your priorities are.

Are sparkle shrimp really a different species? I've long suspected they are a different version of a more common species.


I am pretty sure it is not too common. Greg could probably let us know more about it. But when I saw it, I knew it is a different critter from all the other shrimp I have seen to date. The rocking will get your attention, it did mine ... :)

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby fmerkel » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:36 pm

Back up camera. We now know what your priorities are.

Are sparkle shrimp really a different species? I've long suspected they are a different version of a more common species.
To Air is Human,
To Respire, Divine.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:04 pm

Visibility was not good at Keystone Jetty on December 30th. Then as I entered water and turned my camera on,
"Disk Error" message appeared on the screen and that was it for my usual rig. Fortunately, lately I carry a point & shoot
Olympus TG-4 along in my drysuit pocket, and that is what I used to take pictures of another addition to my list,
Sparkling Shrimp. And it was described by our very own Greg Jensen. How cool is that !
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:07 am

oldsalt wrote:
Tidepool Geek wrote:The gist of the paper is that this animal can modify its own mucous in order to prey on a variety of anemones - how cool is that?

I know I'm in the company fellow weirdos when coolness is defined by the ability to alter mucous. Until now I never tried.
Unalterably yours, Curt


Curt, Welcome to the club ...

When you start seeing marine life while walking the streets, the only cure is to go diving as soon as possible :)
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oldsalt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby oldsalt » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:31 am

Tidepool Geek wrote:The gist of the paper is that this animal can modify its own mucous in order to prey on a variety of anemones - how cool is that?

I know I'm in the company fellow weirdos when coolness is defined by the ability to alter mucous. Until now I never tried.
Unalterably yours, Curt
Happy to be alive.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:43 am

Sea Sponges. Most of our locals are very difficult to identify.
One of the easier ones is the Glove sponge, the favorite tailor/ outfitter of Decorator crabs in Deception Pass :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:27 am

Alex, thank you for the link, interesting info about the Shaggy Mouse.

And now couple of not so friendly critters in our waters...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Tidepool Geek » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:57 am

Hi Jan,

While I am always impressed by your photography, I'm even more impressed by your ability to find sources of information about your subjects!

Here's something to add to your library about the Shaggy Mouse:
http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/fu ... 07/1543542
The gist of the paper is that this animal can modify its own mucous in order to prey on a variety of anemones - how cool is that?

Adaptably yours,
Alex

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby mpenders » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:56 pm

Beautiful color on that shaggy!

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:11 am

Deception Pass is the only place I find pink colored Shaggy Mouse nudibranch.
And no, the bridge was not lit up for Christmas Eve :(
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