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 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:12 pm

Whidbey gulls like sea stars a lot :) .....
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Greg Jensen
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Greg Jensen » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:30 pm

Not too many things eat seastars. Lithodid crabs (esp. Puget sound king crabs) love 'em, seagulls and sea otters will sometimes eat them, though none of the latter at Whidbey. Solaster dawsoni specializes on them and gloms onto the middle of the disk. I can imagine that kind of damage if one had started eating a pyno and then either got interrupted or full.
Although none of our local stars are known to regenerate just from an arm, tropical stars of the genus Linckia can do it. They are those bright blue stars you can often see in tropical fish stores.

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby dwashbur » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:41 am

The only things I can think of that might make a hole like that are another star, or an octopus? Both are just SWAGs, but what the hey, might as well give it a shot.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Zen Diver » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:26 am

I love the cartoon in the top, of the dismembered arm packing up and heading away, hilarious!

Thanks again for showing us YOU Jan.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:07 am

Thank you Ben, Dusty - glad you enjoy the postings.
Here is a little bit of a mystery. Time to time I come across a mutilated body or pieces of sea stars. Top predator such as the Sunflower star with chunk of flesh missing, the hole right on top showing the stomach, which of course is on the underside.. What could inflict such a wound ? I see the Sunflower star eating each other, but the almost perfect circle has me confused. I did see Lingcod pulling a star off the eggs, so tearing off one or two arms would not surprise me.. . Any ideas ?

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Dusty2 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:44 am

Great shots on the scaly head Jan! I agree with airsix I check out each new post. Lots of great info and entertaining too

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby airsix » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:44 am

Jan, You do realize I check this thread as part of my daily routine, right? It has become an integrated non-optional part of my daily life. Thanks. =D>

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:14 pm

And with Spring upon us, the Bull Kelp at Keystone is beginning to fill the shallows, still small, but soon it will make the low tide entry close to the jetty rocks difficult...This is what it I saw on Friday, March 21st.
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and a greeting from the resident Scalyheads:
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:58 am

Diving the west end of Pass Island in Deception Pass, I was surprised how different the underwater scene is from the nearby wall on Whidbey Island. There was much less color in the deeper water, did not find the Feather Duster worms, the Finger sponges were sparse and much less color here. But the wall is awesome, full of caverns and fissures, definitely calls for another visit. It was our second dive and the batteries in my power hungry accessories were low..
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:18 pm

dwashbur wrote:The "front view" of its face is incredible. How did you get it?

Crab was on a piling so I was able to get around and under.

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby dwashbur » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:48 pm

The "front view" of its face is incredible. How did you get it?
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:32 pm

This year, I leave the Easter egg decorating to a local pro ...
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I want to thank our Greg Jensen for helping me with not only making sure I don't call this crab Cabezon,
but also providing an explanation how all the fancy colorful actually manages to stay in place...
BTW - Happy Easter for those who celebrate it .... :salute:

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby LCF » Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:13 am

Jan, you need to do another book, with some of these beautiful over/under pictures in it!
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Dusty2 » Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:53 am

He is the expert not me, I collected one just like it last year and he said that that is what it was then. I think maybe this bright color is a juvinile stage and they change as they mature like the puget sound king crab and the heart crab and many of the critters in the sound. Anyway that's my 2 pennies worth.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:37 am

Dusty2 wrote:Nice shots. If that is the yellow nudi you were referering to it is indeed a subramosus. I have seen that color at Hudson and they go form light yellow thru brown in this area.


Thanks Dusty. Yes, I was reffering to the subramosus. It is good to have confirmation on the color. Dave wasn't 100% sure.

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Dusty2 » Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:21 am

Nice shots. If that is the yellow nudi you were referering to it is indeed a subramosus. I have seen that color at Hudson and they go form light yellow thru brown in this area.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:36 am

The following Monday providing us with yet another day of favorable tides and currents, I was lucky to get invited for another day of diving in the Deception Pass area. On a boat! Our first dive was off the eastern end of Strawberry Island which is just outside of Cornet Bay from where our little expedition started. The current in the pass itself was still running quite strong. My buddies already dove the west end of Strawberry Island before and were curious to explore the eastern portion, since it was not affected by the flood current. I never dove here, so it was fine with me. The underwater terrain on east end is not a wall, the slope is graduate, plenty of rocks to provide shelter and ground for marine life. I found it not as rich and colorful as the walls in Deception Pass under the bridge, but many of the same anemones, sponges and critters are present here. Visibility was not that good, only six to eight feet with lot of fine silt. The current here was not bad. I found very small yellow nudi on a hydroid which nobody yet ID-ed positively. Here are some of the critters...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby dwashbur » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:43 pm

Jan K wrote:Thanks again. :salute:


Hardly. I find myself wondering again and again how to thank you for all you share of your experiences and knowledge. I'm always excited when I see a new post with your name on it, because I know I'm going to learn something. Thank you just seems so inadequate........
:notworthy: :prayer:
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:27 am

Thanks again. :salute:

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby dwashbur » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:52 am

Glad to help. The big tip-off for me was the doodinkles under his chin (as you can see, I'm really into technical scientific terms), which the cabezon doesn't have. The RIL does have small cirri above the eyes, but they're nowhere near as pronounced as the ones on the cabezon. The cabbie also has the rhino-type little horn thing on its nose, like this juvenile we spotted at EUP (sorry about all the backscatter):

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And I agree, that RIL is in a great pose!
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:01 am

Thank you guys, I stand corrected. Again. Well, at least I have now more pictures of the Red Irish Lord and will easier time recognizing it. ](*,)

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Sounder » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:59 am

RIL would be my guess too... almost looks like you can see the yellow dots on the eyes too.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Penopolypants » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:36 am

Jan K wrote:And that is what I thought when I took the photos. But when I saw on the computer screen all the cirri above eyes and snout, according to my book, I think it is Cabezon. I would rather have Red Irish Lord, since they are not common at all on my usual Whidbey sites and I have only few pictures of them... Maybe Janna can tell us what this really is :book:
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I love that shot Jan!
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Greg Jensen » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:22 am

Definitely a red irish lord.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:28 pm

and more marine color from the same neighborhood
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