Invertebrate life still sparse

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Posted by Merry on October 24, 2016 at 08:04:18:

Our local reefs remain largely covered in a kind of brown debris, and we're still not seeing the typical lush carpet of invertebrate life. Perhaps this is fallout from a couple years of abnormally warm water along the Pacific coast, which had a dramatic effect on the food chain. Water temperature also fueled long-lasting algal blooms, some of which were toxic. There's a good article about the this in the Sept. issue of National Geographic titled "Heat Wave". Whatever the cause, or if this is just a normal periodic cycle, we're hoping for a rebound soon.

Photos from Haggerty's Crane, Kevin's Reef, and the barge.

A couple of new-to-me sea stars:

Fat blood star, Henricia sanguinolenta
 photo 1. Henricia sanguinolenta_DSC5722_zpshgqzjdws.jpg

Fragile rainbow star, Astrometis sertulifera
 photo 2. Astrometis sertulifera 1_DSC5630_zpstxgq53gn.jpg

 photo 3. Astrometis sertulifera 2_DSC5644_zpsozorzaxv.jpg

Astrometis sertulifera is one of the sea star species that have claw-like pedicellaria surrounding each spine. These are used in defense, capturing prey, and controlling fouling organisms.

 photo 4. Astrometis sertulifera 4_DSC5644_zpsceagbvw4.jpg

 photo 5. Juvie Garibaldi_DSC5628_zps6hyzqsaw.jpg

Barred sand bass
 photo 6. Juvie barred sandbass2_DSC5629_zpsjky5e5kr.jpg

Calico bass
 photo 7.Calico bass flip_DSC5744_zpsxarzr38r.jpg

Island kelpfish
 photo 8. Island kelpfish 3 DSC_7101_zpscazlylis.jpg

 photo 9. Scorpion fish DSC_7088_zpsotfohhwb.jpg

 photo 10. Juvie treefish DSC_7033_zpslars1bks.jpg

 photo 11. Octopus and eggs_DSC5752_zpsipqpobah.jpg

Naked clam, Chlamydoconcha orcutti
 photo 12. Chlamydoconcha orcutti_DSC5728_zpszekd129q.jpg

Another difference we've noticed this past year is that some of the typically uncommon nudibranch species are abundant, while the historically common species are in short supply.
 photo 13. Peltodoris mullineri cr DSC_7004_zpsmnnidaru.jpg

 photo 14. Felimare porterae DSC_7010_zpsgmqu4gxs.jpg

 photo 15. Phidiana hiltoni_DSC5753_zpsimz0iibm.jpg

 photo 16. Limacia cockerelli DSC_7079_zpsmiptsycp.jpg

 photo 17. Felimare porterae_DSC5668_zpsnimpvldf.jpg

 photo 18. Flabellina trilineata DSC_7042_zps8u2gv7dw.jpg

 photo 19. Aegires albopunctata DSC_7111_zpskcihvzdj.jpg

 photo 20. Cadlina limbaughorum DSC_7035_zpsjq2wv5wz.jpg

 photo 21. Polycera tricolor DSC_7113_zpsnfnvrw71.jpg

 photo 22. P. atra amp P. tricolor DSC_7130_zpsmu88ct78.jpg

 photo 23. cup coral thing DSC_7125_zpsqkpe88y8.jpg

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