Chillin' on the Reefs

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Posted by Merry on June 23, 2015 at 09:32:11:

Water temp around Palos Verdes has been 52 - 56 degrees, with intermittent plankton blooms. Nudibranch egg clusters of countless different species dominate the landscape this month. I've never seen so many eggs at one time, even considered spending an entire dive documenting all the different types of egg masses.

Photos from three of our favorite local dive sites:


 photo Norris topsnail 2 DSC_0856_zpsadweol17.jpg

 photo Norris topsnail DSC_0850_zpsmnnldecs.jpg

The kelp amphipod, Peramphithoe humeralis
 photo Amphipod 2 DSC_0986_zps1uz6omog.jpg

Chestnut cowry tending eggs.
 photo Chestnut cowrie DSC_0823_zpsj9sadeb5.jpg

Doriopsilla fulva
 photo Doriopsilla fulva DSC_0992_zpssrtar4et.jpg

Berthella californica laying eggs.
 photo Berthella californica amp eggs DSC_0829_zpslhjsoaja.jpg


 photo DSC_0886_zpsf6yfdwtk.jpg

Black croakers
 photo DSC_0893_zpszyjjivcg.jpg

Here's an example of an adult black croaker adult that spontaneously changed its colors to the juvenile striped pattern. (See Milton Love, 2011).
 photo DSC_0895_zpsgqetshnl.jpg

The exceedingly small eggs of the snail, Amphissa versicolor. ID thanks to Dr. Jeff Goddard.
 photo Amphissa versicolor eggs POTW DSC_0734_zpsjt14xkl7.jpg

It's fun to watch the black dorid, Polycera atra, laying eggs and feeding on Bugula neritina.
 photo Polycera atra trio amp eggs 2 DSC_1008_zpsk6jsqkdk.jpg

Polycera tricolor
 photo Polycera tricolor 2 DSC_1028_zpsj9oxhmpb.jpg

Polycera tricolor
 photo Polycera tricolor DSC_1021_zpsagrhdhxn.jpg

On this dive, Kevin found a third representative from the genus Polycera that is not often seen here.
Polycera hedgpethi.
 photo Polycera hedgpethi DSC_1049_zpsxtkbjymf.jpg

Kevin also found this nearly transparent, 2mm wisp of a nudi laying eggs.
Ancula gibbosa
 photo Ancula gibbosa with eggs 2 DSC_0908_zpsmlol8upq.jpg


Examples of the light color variation of the black dorid, Polycera atra:
A juvenile
 photo Polycera atra juvie DSC_1051_zpsgcvtfpn8.jpg

An adult Polycera atra
 photo Polycera atra light vari DSC_1053_zpsccsv1dgx.jpg

An adult Polycera atra laying eggs
 photo Polycera atra laying eggs DSC_1088_zpsuw6vjrjg.jpg

Kevin found this grain-of-rice-size Diaphorodoris lirulatocauda.
 photo Diaphorodoris lirulatocauda DSC_1077_zps00gsnykq.jpg

Austraeolis stearnsi It's interesting that we only find these neon-orange fellas on Garden Spot, the nearby Marineland platform, and the distant Star of Scotland wreck.
 photo Austraeolis stearnsi 2 DSC_1058_zpsraslgmlq.jpg

Phil handed me this Aegiris albopunctatus; they always remind me of a nubby rug.
 photo Aegires albopunctatus DSC_1062_zps98ishfis.jpg

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