Saturday, January 4, 2014


Clear water, rain-less, windless nights made going to the beach in the dark a joy this winter.  Predator action not often seen was observed on two nights running.  Shaggy Mouse Sea Slugs were observed feeding as a group (sort of looked like a family buffet) on Mottled Anemone.  Frilled Dog Whelks are universally seen feeding on barnacles but not often are their eggs seen being the target of Pillbox Isopods.  These are the smallest Isopods of this species I have ever seen, but will grow quickly I think on a rich egg diet.  Barnacle eating Sea Slug laying eggs were abundant in the upper tide zone.
Squid, which are laying eggs in Puget Sound in winter, have been commonly seen in small numbers at low tide.  It's sad to see the sea star wasting disease taking a large toll on the Purple Sea Stars, but the Mottled and Sunflower Stars in the intertidal at Constellation and Schmitz Parks in West Seattle appear to be in better shape with little observed wasting disease.

Barnacle eating Sea Slugs with eggs

Purple Sea Star with wasting disease

Shaggy Mouse Sea Slugs feeding on Mottled Anemone

Frilled Dog Whelk eggs being eaten by Pillbox Isopods

Crescent Gunnel

Feather Duster Worms

Frilled Dog Whelks

Mottled Anemone damaged by Shaggy Mouse attack

Pillbox Isopod feeding on Frilled Whelk eggs

Sculpin eggs (unk species)

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