Showing posts from February, 2014

February 23, 2014

Low Tide: 1.2' @ 1:16 PM

Our second shift at Haystack Rock was another successful day of intertidal interpretation and education. The weather started out partly sunny and warm, but by the end we were holding onto our hats and dripping wet in the wind and rain. Despite the changing conditions, we had a good number of visitors peering into the tide pools with our highest count at 69 people.

Adding to the list of nudibranch species we've seen this year, we spotted a Flabellina trillineata and a Red nudibranch (Rostanga pulchra). Flabellina trillineata can look very similar to the Opalescent nudibranch (Hermissenda carssicornis) another common species we see at the Rock (including the 4 we found on Sunday). Flabellina trillineata can be distinguished by the three white lines down it's body while H. crassicornis has two clear blue lines down it's sides. Can you see the differences?

Flabellina trillineata (photo from
Hermissenda carss…

February 22nd, 2014 - Welcome Back HRAP!

Low Tide: 1.4' @ 11:57 AM

Our first day back on the beach in 2014 was sunny and beautiful. Our highest visitor count was 105 people.

Besides the usual sea stars, anemones, and muscles, we found our first nudibranchs of the season. The queen of nudibranchs and staff interpreter, Lisa Habecker, sighted an Opalescent nudibranch (Hermissenda crassicornis) after searching the tidepools. This species is identifiable by the bright orange projections (cerata) on it's back, colorful yellow-green body, and clear blue line along it's sides. An interesting fact about H. crassicornis include it's ability to incorporate the stinging cells (nematocysts) of hydroids they ingest into their cerata. By the end of the day we had seen 3 of this species.

An Opalescent nudibranch out of the water at low tide
Another notable nudibranch we found was a Rufus Tipped (Acanthodoris nanaimoensis). Identified by its yellow tipped cerata covering a white or gray body, with red tipped antennae-like rhi…