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Not anticlimactic at all


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Posted by Merry on February 03, 2013 at 21:28:25:

Above the UB88 on Sat., swarms of zooplankton decorated the mid-water column. There's no way to estimate the number of species that provided the bounty. Some were too small and/or too zippy to photograph. On top of that, some were as transparent as glass and others "saw me coming". After finding 14 different species of gelatinous drifter, I could have flown home without the boat.

Only the size of a thumbnail, first sight of a Phronima sedentaria got my heart pounding. This hyperiid amphipod uses its can-opener-like claws to excavate and trim a salp tube to just the right size. The female lays her eggs around the barrel, and can be seen propelling the tiny little ship with her swimmeretes.

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This Phronima tenderly cares for her larvae.

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Leuckartiara spp. approx. 1"

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An approx. 4" calycophoran siphonophore, possibly Diphyes dispar

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A heteropod, Carinaria japonica.

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Another heteropod, Firoloida desmaresti, has a body size of only 1.5", and is almost completely transparent. I also saw these 20 miles away, at the Redondo Barge. You can't miss them, twisting and turning, dragging their egg strings. Couldn't get a decent shot, so I included a photo of a labeled specimen.

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The mother of all net builders, this Corolla spectabilis was dragging a huge mucus web, laden with tiny animals that are beyond the resolution of my lens. If you zoom in, you can just make out the remnants of dozens of radially symmetrical spheres.

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The common Cyclosalpa affinis was abundant.

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Sunday on the Redondo Barge yielded a surprise nudi that is common at the Northern Channel Islands. Peter Gallup also found one on the barge, but Phil has never seen one in this neck of the woods.

Phidiana hiltoni

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We've only seen Cadlina modesta on the barge. There are actually 2 in this photo, and today Phil found a mating pair. Yay!

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That's all folks!





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