Uncommon Sightings and Creatures in the Kelp

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Posted by Merry on June 18, 2016 at 23:01:21:

We got VERY lucky again on Golf Ball Reef last weekend. Thordisa rubescens mating and laying eggs.

 photo Thordisa rubescens mating DSC_4654_zpsexspj5ff.jpg

 photo Thordisa rubescens amp eggs JM DSC_4620_zpsdq86h0np.jpg

From the measurements we took of the egg ribbon, Dr. Jeff Goddard concluded that the embryos are 110-125 microns (relatively small), which is consistent with planktotrophic development. This means the hatching veligers swim off into the water column where they remain and develop for some period of time.

Felimare californiensis, just recently found on the mainland.
 photo Felimare californiensis JM DSC_4698_zpsqcxffbet.jpg

 photo Felimare californiensis DSC_4743_zpsxefoc87m.jpg

Felimida macfarlandi duo.
 photo Felimida macfarlandi couple DSC_4681_zpsjfirni7a.jpg

Keep an eye out for the Spirorbid polychaete worms that blanket the kelp fronds now.
 photo Spriorbid 5T 5 SubSee DSC_4593.2_zps3dbxl3ih.jpg

Spirorbid worms
 photo Spirorbid 5T 5 diopter DSC_4763_zpskqh8atgl.jpg

Pea-size Norris top snail
 photo Norris topsnail young 2 DSC_4750_zpsnna6dlfh.jpg

There's no limit to how small animals can be in the kelp. Check out the juvenile crab under the snail.
 photo Young Norris amp tiny crab 2 DSC_4749_zpsn9ehe5r5.jpg

Dr. Jeff Goddard suggested that these are juvenile slipper snails, Crepidula norrisiarum, later to be found on Norris top snails.
 photo Juvenile Crepidula norrisarum DSC_4747_zpssvwbfujn.jpg

Polycera atra
 photo Polycera atra on kelp DSC_4783_zpsocew9pub.jpg

A ridiculous number of Polycera atra were mating and laying eggs at 20 feet in the kelp.
 photo Polycera atra on motley kelp DSC_4794_zpsfiv1fsjx.jpg

Barely visible to the naked eye, amphipods scuttle around the kelp fronds.
 photo Amphipod tiny for scale DSC_4644_zps2clsxajn.jpg

 photo Amphipod tiny DSC_4644_zps2ijl16p4.jpg

Yes, there's even MORE happening on kelp. Amphissa versicolor snail eggs.
 photo Amphissa versicolor eggs DSC_4483_zpspg93n9u7.jpg

Ancula gibbosa
 photo Ancula gibbosa DSC_4550_zpss4o1f17d.jpg

Cadlina limbaughorum
 photo Cadlina limbaughorum DSC_4412_zps9ofbjbog.jpg

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