text and photos
monitors two species under the name of orange
Description: These colonial tunicates are found in contiguous groups or colonies ranging in size up to 12 inches in diameter. The tiny individuals in a group of M. dura are always connected by a thin tunic or sheet of tissue. M. dura individuals will be tightly packed together. M. taylori individuals may be less densely packed and may or may not be connected by a tunic.
As with all tunicates, each orange social ascidian has two siphons. Water is drawn in through one of the siphons, passed through the digestive system where any edible plankton are consumed, and then expelled, along with any wastes, through the other siphon. The siphons will appears as pairs of holes in the colonial mass (esp. for M. dura) and often the pairs of holes will appear in patterns.
sponges may look like a colony of orange social ascidians. The holes in
sponges do not occur in pairs or in patterns.
- Writeup contributed by Wes Nicholson
Tapered body, often with cirri above eyes. Lips can look pretty fat too.
- Writeup and photos contributed by Janna Nichols
Yellow Margin Dorid
Flat body with a small, rounded tuft of gills at the back of the body.
The gills are made up of six branchial plumes.
- Writeup contributed by Mark Dixon
Medium sized sculpin found all over Puget Sound.
- Writeup contributed by Claude Nichols
fringed tube worm is one of the polychaetes of the subclass Sedentaria
which means the body is fixed in a tube with the head visible, modified
as a plume. This worm has a short limey tube from clusters over 3'(1 m)
across. It has 11 pairs of dark filaments from the head end.
- Writeup contributed by Georgia Arrow
Description: Pacific Sand Lances are a slender bodied, silvery fish that form large schools. Sand Lances also have the unusual ability to bury themselves in the substrate, hence the name "Sand Lance".
Range: They are found in the coastal areas of the North Pacific and elsewhere.
Size: Large specimens reach 8 inches in length in local waters, but 4 to 6 inches is a more common size.
The Sand Lance, along with Herring and Smelt, are known as forage fish. Forage fish are an important food source for larger fish, seabirds and seals. Because they depend on the near shore area for spawning habitat they are vulnerable to adverse environmental impacts.
All the forage fish have long slender bodies, are shiny, and swim in schools so they are difficult to tell apart. Sand lances are the slenderest; they also have a long dorsal fin, extending most of the length of the body, and the lower jaw extends forward of the upper. These characteristics are difficult to see in situ without getting real close.
ID Tips: When a school of silvery fish is seen look for the slender body and an eel like swimming motion. The swimming motion is easier to see from above or below. Note that Pacific Herring and Pacific Sand Lance are often found together in the same school. These fish are more commonly observed in the spring and early summer.
Behavior: While feeding the fish move independently and the school has a milling, shimmering appearance. When the school reacts to external stimuli they move together with amazing precision. A school may part suddenly, reacting to the presence of salmon or seabirds hunting for a meal. Forage fish react to the noise of bubbles, a diver approaching may stimulate a similar response.
Habitat: During a survey dive look up occasionally to spot forage fish that may be swimming above.
Pacific Sand Lance is not one of the species listed on the REEF scanform. It has to be written in separately in the "unlisted fish species" section on the last page. It will be useful to have more data on the distribution and abundance of this fish.
- Writeup contributed by Kirby Johnson
Description: This snail has a unique shape with three frills running the length of the shell and a large "tooth" projecting from the aperture end of the shell. The frills are spaced approximately equally around the shell, with a frill located on each side of the aperture and on the top of the back of the shell. There are prominent ribs running between the frills. Even though they seem very showy, the coloring and shape provides good camouflage.
Color: Varies from gray to beige to yellow to brown.
Range: California to Alaska.
Size: Grows to about 3.5 inches in length.
Habitat: Rocky beaches, rock walls and other hard bottoms.
Depth: Intertidal to about 200 ft.
Behavior: This critter is an aggressive predator that feeds on large barnacles, bivalves and other snails. It feeds by using its radula to drill holes in the shells of it's prey and extract the meat. These snails often cluster together during the breeding season in late February and March.
Sea floor myth?: The frills help leafy hornmouths land right side up if dislodged from a rock or wall and thus protect their softer underside.
- Writeup contributed by Wes Nicholson
Description:This mollusk is the largest of the intertidal snails living on the west coast. Its appearance is a rough conical shape with 6 whorls and thick protruding hairs giving its common name hairy oregon triton.
Color: Lighter body with darker brown hairs that encircle the shell.
Range: Their range is California to Alaska.
Size: Size is up to about 5 inches in length.
Habitat: Habitat can be anywhere between rocks to sand.
Depth: Intertidal to about 600 ft.
Behavior: This critter is an aggressive predator that feeds on tunicates, chitons, urchins and others. It feeds by drilling holes in the shells of its prey with its radula, a rasp like appendage that secretes stuff to immobilize and begin digestion. Yummy eh?
It takes two Tritons to mate and the female lays eggs in a spiral pattern. Young are hatched in a larval form.
- Photos and text contributed by Mark Dixon
you guessed Painted Greenling, you got it right!
Medium sized greenling found all over Puget Sound with pointed snout and
5 to 6 bars.
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH:
Compared to the Painted Greenling, the Tiger Rockfish is larger (8" to 20" with a maximum of 2'). Tigers are less common and found occasionally in British Columbia and Vancouver Island and not in the Puget Sound. They are solitary and shy, retreating into caves or crevices when approached. Tiger Rockfish have five bars with none on the caudal fin. The nose of a Tiger is not nearly as pointed as that of a Painted Greenling.
- Text and photos contributed by Claude Nichols
you guessed Dungeness Crab, you got it right!
Large, grey-brown crab with purple carapace widest at tenth and largest
tooth. Females have a broad U-shaped abdomen while the males' abdomen
is sharply V-shaped. (Good identification clues if harvesting.)
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH:
to the Dungeness, the Slender Legs Crab is a much smaller crab.
Relatively small in size compared to the much larger Dungeness crabs. The carapace is only to 4.5"(11cm). However, it is easy to confuse young Dungeness with Slender Legs if just going by size.
They have similar range, habitat and behavior.
ID Clues: Slender Legs carapace has 10 teeth and the widest point on carapace is at the 9th tooth. This 9th tooth does not stick out quite as much as does the 10th tooth on a Dungeness crab. Another clue is the difference in color of the legs and the white margin on the Slender Legs carapace. In addition, the serrated upper margin on the Dungeness is lacking on the Slender Legs
- Contributed by Georgia Arrow, photos by Janna Nichols
Lingcod are voracious predators; feeding on a wide variety of fishes, cephalopods, and crustaceans. They feed by lunging and grabbing their prey and holding it with their teeth until they can maneuver it to be swallowed, usually head first. It is not unusual to see a lingcod with a tail sticking out of it's mouth.
Female lingcod spawn in mid winter depositing a large white egg mass in a crevice. The male remains with the eggs, protecting them until they hatch.
- Contributed by Kirby Johnson