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 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:48 am

Spring is in the air. And in the water :)
As do the plants above load their flowers with pollen, the anemones beneath the waves release theirs in hopes to propagate. Curious California cucumber is checking out what is this all about, probably ready to join the movement :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:39 am

April 2, 2019. Swimming with the fishes in Langley Harbor.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:15 am

More from my two days at Deception Pass gardens...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:59 pm

This weekend was the Grand Opening of Deception Pass for the shore divers. And to greet them, the marine life put on festive colors, just for the occasion. To prove the point I included photo I took in January. Notice that the Funnel sponge next to a dying Tan Finger sponge were the only interesting features on the scene. And look at the bottom shot. Although only small pile of debris left from the dying Finger sponge, the Funnel grew larger and Red Sea Cucumbers appeared from nowhere to spruce the Spring scenery. Enjoy ! :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:55 pm

The gates to Deception Pass, Little North Beach parking lot are open. And lots and lots of divers took advantage of sunny weather and small tidal exchange. Nevertheless, the currents were there too. Maya joins me for dive, temperature shock for her, her last dive was in 84 degrees Bligh Water in Fiji. Deception Pass greeted her with 46. :) :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:27 pm

Thank you Curt.

Shrimp and slug from the Possession Point Finger clay wall apartments :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by oldsalt » Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:41 pm

Congratulations on another new species. Since you have been at it for so long and so thoroughly, it has become rare for you to see something new. I just realized I saw some additional new species of birds on my recent trip to the Gapalagos and Peru's Palamino Islands. In reviewing my photos, I found additional birds in each place. Something catches my attention, penguins, frigatebirds, boobies... and I overlook something equally as marvelous. I also recognize that most divers would not be familiar with the creeping pedal sea cucumber, much less its kin. good job.
-Curt :rawlings:
Happy to be alive.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:07 pm

In all these years, I have seen hundreds, thousands of the Creeping Pedal cucumbers. Took pictures of them many times, open, closed, upside down. But only when I was looking for the mystery anemone and looking close at ALL the small critters, I found a close relative to the Psolus chitonoides, the Pale Creeping Pedal sea cucumber - Psolidium bidiscum. Adding another species to my Pacific Northwest critter list. :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:13 am

During the search for the mystery anemone, I came across others which took time to identify.
Juveniles don't alway look like their parents ... :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:56 am

Interesting past couple weeks diving in the waters of Possession Point. On March 10th I came across a very small, less than quarter inch across anemone with a pattern I never seen before. So I took picture of it and continued my dive. Back home, I tried to find it in my marine life guide books, but could not find a match. I turned to internet, no help there. So I contacted the few experts I knew were much more knowledgeable than me, but they have not seen it neither. They would like to see more of the anemone, especially the side view of the column. Some suggested it might even be a new species! That got my attention. In the following week I spend four dives looking for the critter, with no luck. Finally on the fifth dive I found another one, slightly larger one, and managed to get a better picture. The white markings on the anemone's body helped to identify it as a juvenile Sand Rose anemone.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:10 am

Some of the Skyline critters ...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:42 am

Skyline Wall dive. Almost summer-like weather above, Spring colors below...
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Last edited by Jan K on Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:41 am

Lagoon Point muck dive. Twelve different slugs in the small area around the docks plus a land slug on the shore.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:05 am

Checking out marine life under the dock at Lagoon Point.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:49 am

Scubie Doo, I don't think you can visit Fiji and not to partake in the Kava ceremony. The friendliest people on the Earth= Fijians. However, I think the Kava is an acquired taste thing, for the time being, I stick with coffee :)

Possession Point Fingers dive. Spring arrived few days ahead of schedule, blue skies above and warm weather.
Spawning Blood star spawning - harbinger of season of rebirth ...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Scubie Doo » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:50 pm

Awesome write-up on Fiji. I went many years ago and had a blast.

Did you partake in the Kava ceremony?


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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:00 am

Time to wrap up the Fiji tropical dive trip with some of the fishy encounters. Last dive with Vanunavu divers.
Thank you Semi and the team ... Bula and Vinaka
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:35 pm

Walking on low tide beach pays off with great views, in Sand dollars and mother ghost shrimp.
That sounds like a good reward to be the nature's friend. :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:10 pm

Langley Harbor Sea Star survey. Some wasting, most stars healthy.
And the good news, Sunflower stars, even if only small ones, sighted :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:40 am

March Slugfest at Possession Point Fingers ...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:49 am

Follow up on the Painted greenling egg nests post. I can't find information how the female manages to color her eggs just to be different from the eggs already deposited in the nest by other female fish. All the studies dealing with spawning and reproduction mention the color separation, but nobody, as far as I was able to find, deals with the process itself. So far, Whitespotted greenling holds the record, I found nest with 16 different egg clusters guarded by one male.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:38 am

Painted greenling, Possession Point Fingers, March 5, 2019.
Painted greenlings, Whitespotted greenlings, Buffalo sculpins, Red Irish Lords are just some of local fish where we see a male guarding multi-colored egg clusters . Here is one theory of why it is so ...

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:48 am

Monday morning visit to the tropics.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:31 am

Gumboot chiton spawning, Keystone Jetty, March 4, 2019. Unlike in many spawning events of these large chitons, this time none of the dozen participants displayed the typical erected pose in which they release the gametes into the water. All of them did it remaining in their everyday position, clinging to the surface, mostly rocks. Also, contrary to the published material, the eggs the females release were not reddish in color, but green and yellowish. Also they were not released in long strings, but loosely from the start...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:56 am

While snow flakes descend again on our weary heads on this seventh day of March, time to bring back little bit of tropical colors :)
Diving the Neptune's Rhapsody and Hakuna Matata reefs.
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