Marine Life Waxes and Wanes

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Posted by Merry on July 31, 2016 at 16:36:47:

One thing we've observed is that some species of invertebrate life, notably nudibranchs, their relatives, and gelatinous inverts like jellies, are not present locally in the same numbers every year. It's been several years since we've seen the bounty of jellies, salps, siphonophores, larvaceans and other mid-water animals that we previously enjoyed.

In the Palos Verdes area, some nudibranch species have made an appearance only once or twice in nearly 10 years. The converse is also true. For the past 2 years, we've been accustomed to seeing Polycera, Felimare, and Felimida species that were previously pretty sparse. The delicate, almost transparent Ancula gibbosa is one of those. We used to see them only on the barge, but now there's a bumper crop of them reproducing near the Crane at Haggerty's.

As Phil said, it was a strange weekend of diving off Redondo. Either the vis was fair at the Crane, but wind drove us home, or conditions were great at the surface at Golf Ball Reef, but was the pits below.

Kelp rockfish
 photo Kelp rockfish DSC_5286_zps0o5rujr8.jpg

A polyclad flatworm, Pseudoceros mexicanus that I found on the side of a dock float.
 photo Pseudoceros mexicanus at dock DSC_5359_zpsb5bnapfp.jpg

 photo Psuedoceros mexicanus DSC_5366_zpssjeo9yrx.jpg

The black dots on the head behind the pseudotentacles represent the cerebral eyespot.
 photo Pseudoceros mexicanus DSC_5368_zpsclkm9hzs.jpg

Juvenile treefish
 photo Juvenile treefish DSC_5287_zpsmndrbsee.jpg

Ancula gibbosa mating. Get 'em while they last!
 photo Ancula gibbosa 5 with eggs DSC_5319_zpsuhf6cn3a.jpg

 photo Ancula gibbosa mating eggs  2 pair DSC_5305_zps6fmxz4oh.jpg

Polycera hedgpethi at Golf Ball Reef. If you find a clump of Bugula containing Polycera atra, P. hedgpethi might be there, too.
 photo Polycera hedgpethi DSC_5407_zpsqwajn8b0.jpg

Juvenile (less than quarter-inch) Polycera tricolor.
 photo Polycera tricolor juvenile DSC_5386_zpsls9jhbaz.jpg

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