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

Post by Jan K » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:12 pm

Another rather unusual encounter on Saturday dive , this gunnel wasn't scared of me at all...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:32 pm

Blue Topsnails making the water just a little bit cloudier ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:57 pm

More of the same, week after week, seeing the sea stars getting hit so hard is disheartening...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Tidepool Geek » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:44 am

Hi Jan,

Thanks for continuing to post these reports.
Sorry if I'm being dense here but I've got a question about how the numbers are reported - when you say "25+ wasting 50+ Ochre stars" does that mean 25 sick out of 50 total or 25 sick and 50 (apparently) healthy?

Statistically yours,
Alex

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:13 am

Tidepool Geek wrote:Hi Jan,
Thanks for continuing to post these reports.
Sorry if I'm being dense here but I've got a question about how the numbers are reported - when you say "25+ wasting 50+ Ochre stars" does that mean 25 sick out of 50 total or 25 sick and 50 (apparently) healthy?
Statistically yours, Alex


Hi Alex,
I know these reports are not real scientific, I try to cover a very large area and look for an overall status of the sea stars there. Since unlike in most other locations around Whidbey where sighting of dozen sea stars is now considered a good sign, Langley (and Penn Cove) still offers clusters where counting would take precious air time, so I round it to these rather meaningless 25+ 50+ quotes. Also ever changing visibility presents another problem. I know having a transect would be preferable, but I figure, if I take pictures of the same areas, and find time, I could count the stars and get better numbers. As I see it now, there might soon be no stars if this continues :(

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:23 pm

Monterey dorid grazing on sponge revisited at Deception Pass dives.
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mpenders
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by mpenders » Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:56 pm

Jan K wrote:Monterey dorid grazing on sponge revisited at Deception Pass dives.


Very interesting find. The anemones are also gone in the 2nd pic. Would they have been feasting on the sponge - and would they also be on the menu of the dorid?

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Tidepool Geek » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:43 am

mpenders wrote: The anemones are also gone in the 2nd pic. Would they have been feasting on the sponge - and would they also be on the menu of the dorid?


Greetings,
1. Anemones eating sponge - Almost certainly not; anemones simply aren't mobile enough and seem to lack the ability to sense prey over any distance - making it almost infinitely unlikely that an anemone species would evolve to prey on sponges. The anemones pictured appear to be juvenile Epiactis spp. which, like most of our local anemones, mainly eat various small crustaceans (copepods, amphipods, etc.).

2. Dorid nudibranch eating anemones - Highly unlikely; dorids, as a group, are considered to be extremely specialized as to diet, in some cases they are obligate predators on one prey species. Many (most?) dorids eat sponges and if you see one doing so there's a pretty good chance that the animal in question can't eat anything else. If I guessed correctly about the anemones pictured, they had probably fairly recently left their parent's column and were seeking out a suitable place to live on their own and the sponge was simply in their path; further, given that sponges are often somewhat toxic I would speculate that the anemones would have wanted to get off of them ASAP. Alternatively, it's possible that the dorid could have 'bulldozed' them out of the way as it was consuming the sponge.

Having said that:
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
- Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio

In other words, I could be all wet here.

Predatorily yours,
Alex

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:47 pm

The news from Langley Harbor continues to be a bad one. It is downright depressing :
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by ScubaJess » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:26 pm

This is so tragic!!!! Poor stars! I wish we could help them somehow! Thanks for documenting this Jan. I always enjoy reading your posts, I've learned so much from you!
Live Long And Prosper!!!

Stay Warm underwater with the Weezle Extreme Plus undergarment! Please let me know if you would like to order one or have any questions. :luv: :partydance: :eric: :taco:

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:39 pm

Another Whidbey site hit by new wave of Wasting Syndrome :(
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by LCF » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:38 pm

We did a dive at Cove 2 yesterday, and I was thrilled at the numbers of ochre stars we saw (interestingly, all orange in color) but not so thrilled at the number we saw clearly affected by this disorder. We also saw a couple of adult Stimsons stars, and none that showed wasting. Not a single sunflower star to be seen.
"Sometimes, when your world is going sideways, the second best thing to everything working out right, is knowing you are loved..." ljjames

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:46 pm

When I returned few days ago from land excursion with my friends from Europe, I didn't know how to start with my Whidbey Critters .
Last comment to my posting was, as so often from Lynne, and all I can think of is, it just can't be that her input to my ramblings is now
only history. Her comments were always so encouraging... I miss you, Lynne...


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We met at Keystone when she visited Whidbey with Peter and Ben back on August 16,2010.

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Tangfish » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:58 pm

Glad to have you back, Jan, and very sorry you came back to the news of Lynne's passing. She is already missed by many here.

BTW if ever there was an understatement it would be 'my ramblings' from your post above. We have all missed your ARTwork while you were away. Hope you had a fantastic trip!

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Penopolypants » Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:09 pm

What a lovely tribute, Jan. And welcome back!
Come to the nerd side, we have pi!

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Tom Nic » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:50 pm

Welcome back Jan - seems like we've been missing a lot lately... glad that one less thing we are missing is your posts.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Scubie Doo » Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:20 pm

Welcome back Jan, great post/tribute! I know I missed your posts over the past month :)

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:43 pm

Thank you all for the warm "Welcome Back". Walking the trails in National Parks was fun, but I did miss my underwater world.
I found it occupied by lots of Egg Yolk aka Fried Egg jellyfish. Although many other critters are getting the taste of them.
From crabs to anemones. Enough jello for everybody :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by ScubaJess » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:51 pm

I'm so glad you're back!!! Thanks for sharing such fantastic art with us! We all learn so much from you! :)
Live Long And Prosper!!!

Stay Warm underwater with the Weezle Extreme Plus undergarment! Please let me know if you would like to order one or have any questions. :luv: :partydance: :eric: :taco:

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by oldsalt » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:18 am

Jan: I was praying that your absence from diving was temporary, and not like mine. We live in a beautiful place, which can be enjoyed in many ways. Diving off Whidbey and hiking the Olympic Peninsula are two of them.
-Curt
Happy to be alive.

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Tangfish » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:23 am

It's hard to get a decent photo of an egg yolk jelly. If I counted right Jan just posted 10 really nice ones!

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Tom Nic » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:38 am

I LOVE the wide angle shots of the Shiner Perch spread across the shot like a rainbow! Awesome composition!
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:27 pm

Thank you all for kind words.
More about the Egg Yolk jellies which seem to be enjoying waters of Whidbey harbors ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:20 pm

Langley Harbor scene:
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by oldsalt » Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:48 pm

Sort of a shark cage for rockfish.
-Curt
Happy to be alive.

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