Whidbey Island Critters

Fish & Invertebrate sightings and descriptions, hosted by resident NWDC ID expert Janna Nichols (nwscubamom).
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H20doctor
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby H20doctor » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:11 pm

Thank my friend for a Great Day of diving !! And getting to share the Day Together doing what we love
NWDC Rule #2 Pictures Or it didn't Happen

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:24 pm

Saturday 28, Fourteen divers descended to Little North Beach to dive the Deception Pass before the access gate closes for the season on November 1st ... OK friends, see you around, maybe at Keystone ?
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:28 am

Deception Pass. Friday 27th. In spite of some interesting currents which refused to follow the prediction tables, the marine life there moves on. Scalyhead sculpin hides in Funnel sponge and male Kelp greenlings are guarding egg clusters.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:06 pm

Thanks Greg.
I learned some time ago, that lot of information about marine life on internet is not either updated, or wrong. (surprise). Even from reputable sources. So I appreciate when experts chime in and set the record straight. Hopefully, we can then all learn.

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Greg Jensen
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Greg Jensen » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:36 pm

Wolf eels do have bones- as do the true eels

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:41 pm

After the rather depressing post on wasting sea stars, here are few "portraits" of juvenile Wolf eels from Wednesday dive at Skyline to cheer you up. It was a breezy and rainy day, but as always, the colors beneath the waves do not disappoint. And if you see a sparkle in the eyes of your buddy, it might be Tapetum lucidum ... :) :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:24 am

Thanks Greg for explaining what the Oregon Aquarium site describing Puget Sound King Crab didn't know.

Latest sea star surveys around Whidbey Island did not bring any joy, it seems the wasting disease is gathering strength in spite of cooling weather. The Mottled stars are at this moment the ones mostly affected, right now at Langley and Coupeville. At Keystone one of the four adult Sunflower stars is now gone. I found gathering of young Sunflower stars in Langley harbor, but who knows how long they will survive ... :(
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Gdog
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Gdog » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:44 pm

Very very cool!

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Greg Jensen
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Greg Jensen » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:01 pm

The reduced last pair of legs in a king crab is a holdover from their hermit crab ancestry, and they are specialized for cleaning the gills and (in the case of the males) for transferring sperm to females when mating. It is likely that females use them to help keep their eggs clean.

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby ScubaJess » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:28 am

WOW Super Cute!!!!!!!!!! I'd love to see one that small. Great work as always Jan!!!!
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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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:05 am

Puget Sound King Crab. Smallest I have ever seen.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:34 pm

I am always little worried when I see changes in the underwater. This time clumps of filamentous alga resembling tumbleweed of the desert are starting to showing up on the tire reef and on the surrounding seafloor. Same seaweed appeared last year on pilings under the Coupeville wharf. It now covers the underside of the Langley floating dock completely. Something tells me this is not good ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:11 am

I cannot verify personally how long the crabs can survive inside the trap, but it always hurts to see them struggling inside the wire prison and the pickup line, which is supposed to lead up to the surface laying on the bottom, victim of poorly chosen location. The mooring cables which crisscross the waters below the floating docks are playing havoc with the trap pickup lines tied to the railing above and so many traps are abandoned as they are impossible to raise. :(
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:36 am

After re-posting memory page from three years ago, I revisited the pile of rock where I took the pictures of crowd of Saddleback gunnels.
To my delight, I found them there again. One of them obviously remembers me and it came out to say hi. :) :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:33 pm

Tidepool Geek wrote:On the Olympic Peninsula it seems that Six-Rays were somewhat less affected by SSWD than most of the larger species; I can't back this up with hard data but my sense is of a 50% mortality as opposed to 80%. As an aside, after a few years of being SSWD free, we've lost 3 or 4 stars over the last few months at the Feiro Center. Alex


The Six-Rays fared very well during the big die-off, overall, they are doing still well at Skyline.
However, I dived Langley yesterday and the Mottled and Ochre stars are starting to waste into piles of white globs again in large numbers :(

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Tidepool Geek » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:14 am

Hi Jan,

Terrific photos as always: Thanks & keep up the good work!

I don't know why but, no matter how many times I see it happening, I'm always surprised at how many things eat jellyfish.

Rockweed trivia: I've been told that the slimy stuff found in the rockweed's floats is essentially the same as aloe vera.

On the Olympic Peninsula it seems that Six-Rays were somewhat less affected by SSWD than most of the larger species; I can't back this up with hard data but my sense is of a 50% mortality as opposed to 80%. As an aside, after a few years of being SSWD free, we've lost 3 or 4 stars over the last few months at the Feiro Center.

Fannishly yours,
Alex

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:21 am

While the stormy weather rages over our area, here are some more tranquil scenes from the recent dives at Skyline.
Slugs, jellyfish, starfish and seaweed parade ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:56 pm

October 11th, Keystone Jetty dive. Some of the kelp is definitely marking the change of seasons, the Wrack kelp is almost completely covered with encrusting bryozoan, Bull kelp tangled stipes and missing the most of their blades. I am still puzzled by the new sprouting Bull kelp beneath the aging canopy ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:57 pm

Usually, when we talk about DMZ (Demiliterized Zone), we don't think about marine life, even less when the warring parties are somewhat limited in their movement, as are in this case the Aggregating anemones. But apparently, they do fight. I was lucky to see the combatants on my dive at Skyline. Here are some pictures from the battlefield. :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:50 pm

Skyline, Fidalgo Island. Not great on visibility, but great on colors of its marine life.
And when the sun shines, pretty above the water as well.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:44 pm

Lots of Cross jellies in local waters now. Some carry hitchhikers...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:01 pm

Driftwood Park. The Cockscombs are hard to identify in the field, some guide books mention stripes on jaws for the Slender, but to differentiate between "Fleshy crest" and "Moderate Flashy Crest" to distinguish between the Slender and High Cockscomb sounds too subjective for me.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:20 am

Hi Curt, In the past, it did not take long for the Tritonia and Armina to show up and snack on sea pens. This time I did not see any slugs yet, but I would be not surprised if they do, and soon.

And because today is OCTOber EIGHT.
Happy World Octopus Day. :)
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oldsalt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby oldsalt » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:02 pm

Jan: When the orange sea pens "take root", doesn't that lead to a herd of striped nudibranchs stampeding through, or have you noticed that the sea pens can survive in one location for some period of time?
-Curt :questionmarks:
Happy to be alive.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:04 am

The rest of critter encounters from the Possession Point Fingers dive.
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