The Annelids and the Horde

Headed to Pillar Point on Saturday with plans to meet up with some friends of friends, but I got their early to check out the docks. The docks were a blast, with an overwhelming array of weird creatures (still not slugs that I could spot, though; was kind of hoping for Eubranchus, Catriona, or Elysia). In particular we found some neat polychaete worms, including the dorvilleid I observed the last time I was there, and what I think was something in the family Phyllodocidae. The latter was living in this possibly mucosal tube attached to some algae, and when I coaxed it out, it had the most incredible head, with huge tentacle like protrusions. An insane animal. I also saw this clump of purple-plumed sabellid worms that I think was Myxicola infundibulum. Quite beautiful, if a little mysterious.

Lots of the usual giant barnacles and skeleton shrimp at the dock. Also saw a very cool isopod that I'm pretty sure is in the family Sphaeromatidae, though I think I need to bone up a bit on isopod anatomy to get past there. It was just hanging out on a piece of kelp attached to a boat.

When we left the dock and started walking toward the point, we realized the beach was packed. TONS of people walking, clamming, checking stuff out. We inspected the pilings under the pier but found only an ochre star and some Obelia and other hydroids (still, slug food...). The reef was not less crowded, more people that I've ever seen. Surf was high, and hot spots like the pool of plenty were mostly covered. Managed to find a few slugs, including Flabellina trilineata, which was on a piece of hydroid that also had a tiny Doto amyra. Tiny. Other slugs included Doris montereyensis and Triopha maculata, and one more F. trilineata.

Non-sluggy action was pretty conventional: ochre, sunflower, knobbly, and giant pink sea stars, the usual array of anemones, sculpins etc. Only actually met up with the friends of friends at the very end, b/c it was impossible to find anyone in the crowds.

Posted by kueda kueda, February 09, 2009 04:54 PM

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Hammerhead Doto (Doto amyra)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 7, 2009 02:58 PM PST

Description

I wish I could claim I actually saw this, but it actually just came long for the ride on a piece of hydroid along with the Flabellina.

Photos / Sounds

What

Three-lined Aeolid (Coryphella trilineata)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 7, 2009 02:55 PM PST

Description

Who doesn't crave a little hydroid now and then. Now what hydroid this might be...

Photos / Sounds

Observer

kueda

Date

February 7, 2009 12:32 PM PST

Description

I believe this is the same dorvelleid I saw previously (and kindly ID'd by sarsifa and leslieworms). Deborah saw it crawl into an abandoned barnacle shell. Note to all dorvelleids: barnacles will not hide you.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Sponge Isopod (Paracerceis sculpta)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 7, 2009 01:07 PM PST

Description

Found on a piece of kelp growing on a boat. Honestly, my first through was some kind of larval spiny or slipper lobster, but then I realized I had the animal backwards. I'm fairly confident it's in Sphaeromatidae, and it certainly looks a lot like the pics of male Paracereis, but I mean, Paracereis sculpta has 3 male morphs! What the hell, Nature!

The animal was about 2 cm long, observed in Pillar Point Harbor, near El Granada, CA.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

kueda

Date

February 7, 2009 01:17 PM PST

Description

Again, under a dock at Pillar Point Harbor. It matches the description of Myxicola infundibulum in Light's in that it has violet radiolar tips, but I'm not sure you would call a dock a "soft sediment."

Anyone know it? I think the whole colony might have been 10-15 cm across. That's a large mussel in the left of the image, if that helps with scale.

Update: Polychaete expert leslieworms from Flickr gave me a really great description of the taxonomic situation of Myxicola in CA.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

Observer

kueda

Date

February 7, 2009

Description

It seemed to be releasing sperm, or eggs, or something, in a milky cloud. Will post pic later.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Monterey Doris (Doris montereyensis)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 7, 2009

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Spotted Triopha (Triopha maculata)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 7, 2009

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Ochre Sea Star (Pisaster ochraceus)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 7, 2009

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Giant Pink Sea Star (Pisaster brevispinus)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 7, 2009

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Giant Sea Star (Pisaster giganteus)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 7, 2009

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Sunflower Sea Star (Pycnopodia helianthoides)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 7, 2009

Comments

No comments yet.

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments