Missed Opportunities with Littorina sitkana and Gloiopeltis furcata

I’ve surprised myself twice recently by unexpectedly noticing species I’ve never seen in the wild in my photographs featuring other species.

The periwinkle below, the little striped snail, escaped my attention while I engaged in a four-photograph sequence featuring the limpets. The little snail is Littorina sitkana, the Sitka periwinkle. Who knew a snail could photobomb?

Below, periwinkles were the subject. Ironically, I was examining these to determine if they might be L. sitkana (the photobomber above). The unexpected participant this time was Gloiopeltis furcata, a red seaweed, sitting right on the edge of a small tidepool. It’s easy to see why some people call it red-brown mat weed. Others adhere to jelly weed; if I one day get to know Gloiopeltis, I’m confident I’ll come away agreeing that works too.

These post festum discoveries sway to the bittersweet. On our bellies, with our noses in the tidepools, would we want it any other way?

The missed opportunities I’ve described took place on August 17th and 18th, 2019, on Galiano Island’s high intertidal shores, where both species are common.



  1. Nice surprises! I agree with you and Margaret – we do miss things “impossible to miss”. I believe they wait for us there until we see them!

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