Shoreline Outing Reports: Oyster Bay, May 8th, 2019

Hey Everyone,

Betty Brooks led a great outing around Oyster Bay Shoreline Park last Wednesday. We got a bit of history, a bit of botany and a lot of interesting invertebrates, including an octopus. Species list to the best of my recollection and notes follow below. Thanks again to Betty for leading and sharing all her knowledge about the park and its biota.
Death of an Octopus
The group was surprised to see a giant octopus withering on the sand flat. There were hints of an active nervous system so we attempted to take it to cooler, open water. Lest this was a particularly slovenly octopus that practiced self-desiccation, it seems we caught it at the end of it’s life as there was no reviving it. This species can grow to more than 50 kg and up to 6 m wide. We saw what was presumably a juvenile octopus, weighing maybe 5kgs and measuring maybe 1m across in life.
Nudibranchs on Parade
The sea slugs are perhaps the most tropical element of our local shorelines. Their dramatic forms, colours and patterns can stand out. We saw three different nudibranchs: (1) The hum-drum Barnacle nudibranch, laying thousands of eggs on the bottom of a wood piling. (2) The colourful Taylor’s Sea Hare (right image), which grazes the eel grass. (3) Ian G. put in the extra time to identify the spectacular 3″ long Dendronotus iris (left image). He sent a great photo and noted that this nudibranch likes to graze on the green burrowing anenome (Anthopleura artemesia), which we also saw.
Species Seen (please email with corrections and additions)
Species List- Oyster Bay Shoreline Park, May 7th, 2019
Deltoid Balsamroot
Balsamorhiza deltoidea
Strawberry Fragaria sp.
Lomatium nudicaule
Red-stemmed spring beauty
Claytonia rubra
Eelgrass Zostera marina
Ribbon Kelp Alaria marginata
Bull kelp (growing off piling)
Nereocystis lutkeana
Sea Lettuce Ulva sp.
Porphyra Pophyra sp.
Rockweed Fucus distichus
Polysiphonia Polysiphonia sp.
Smithora naiadum
Serpula columbiana
Clamworm Nereis sp.
Jointed Tube Worm
Spaghetti worm
Thelapis sp.
Burrowing Anemone
Anthopleura artemesia
Plumose Anemone
Metridium sp.
Graceful rock crab
Metacarcinus gracilis
Northern Kelp Crab
Pugetta producta
Brittle star Amphiodia sp.
Eccentric Sand Dollars
Dendraster excentricus
Barnacle Nudibranch
Onchidoris bilamellata
Taylor’s Sea Hare
Phyllaplysia taylori
Dendronotus Dendronotus iris
Moonsnail Neverita lewisii
Olive Snail Olivella biplicata
Bubble Snail ?
Sand clam Macoma sp.
Gaper Tressus sp.
Eel grass limpet
Lottia alveus
Tidepool Sculpin
Oligocottus maculosus
Citharichthys sordidus
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