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 » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:48 pm

Yes John, I would like to go back too, so far I saw only a small portion of it. Unfortunately, it takes a boat to get there :crybaby:
But I did get to go on another boat dive last Sunday, checking out new territory at Saratoga Passage on the east side of Whidbey Island. It was cold, but vis was pretty good.
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John Rawlings
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby John Rawlings » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:54 pm

Thanks for posting the shots of Gedney Reef, Jan! I haven't dived there since my buddy sold his boat a few years back. That reef is HUGE and just keeps going and going in a series of big piles. One of my favorite things to do was to peer off into the murk looking for a bright spot - that bright spot would always be yet ANOTHER huge rock pile covered with Plumose anemones.

I gotta go back!

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:07 pm

LCF wrote:Beautiful, as usual, Jan!

Thank you, I do appreciate the feedback. Sometimes I think maybe I am just posting more of the same stuff, over and over again.... :dontknow:

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby LCF » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:56 am

Beautiful, as usual, Jan!
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:59 am

Another visit to nearby Gedney Reef, rain with snow mixed in with some white caps on the surface made for an interesting trip, but once below, visibility was great and scenery nice.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:00 pm

They use ingested microscopic stinging capsules, known as nematocysts, from the tissue of animals in the phylum Cnidaria, which includes hydroids, fire corals, anemones and corals. Nudibranchs are immune to the toxins, as the digest developing capsules which are yet unable to fire, they are transferred to a tip of each cerata called cnidosac. The cnidosac connects directly to the digestive system. There the immature nematocysts continue to mature until they become an active stinging defence of the host. :book:

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby LCF » Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:37 pm

Do the shaggy mouses (mice?) eat plumose anemones? I didn't know that.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:24 pm

Shaggy Mouse nudibranchs are out in numbers at Langley, their shaggy coats protecting them from the cold water... :axe:
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:21 pm

With snow falling in late March, our Pacific Northwest waters looks hardly like a place for coral. But you don't have to travel to the tropics (even if it does sound very, very inviting in our present weather conditions). Deception Pass for one, is a place where Orange Cup Coral can be found in numbers, sharing space with similar looking Proliferating Anemone. When I say similar, I mean for somebody with my eyesight and weak light source ... :pale:
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Joshua Smith » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:04 pm

Jan K wrote:
dwashbur wrote:Did he ever get it down? We saw one like that in Monterey and watched the gull for a good 15 minutes, trying to figure out how to get the other half of the star down his throat. He finally gave up!


Not only he swallowed it all, but flew away as if weight and balance didn't apply to the physics of flight at all.. :dontknow:



I wouldn't be suprised if the Star ended up eating the gull from the inside out......
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:47 pm

dwashbur wrote:Did he ever get it down? We saw one like that in Monterey and watched the gull for a good 15 minutes, trying to figure out how to get the other half of the star down his throat. He finally gave up!


Not only he swallowed it all, but flew away as if weight and balance didn't apply to the physics of flight at all.. :dontknow:

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby dwashbur » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:07 pm

Did he ever get it down? We saw one like that in Monterey and watched the gull for a good 15 minutes, trying to figure out how to get the other half of the star down his throat. He finally gave up!
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Zen Diver » Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:15 pm

I can almost hear the gulls slurping that last bit, like spaghetti...

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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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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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Jan K
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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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