Brandt’s Cormorant Doesn’t Survive Attempt to Swallow Barred Surfperch

Have you ever taken too big a bite? This Brandt’s cormorant did, presumably, and paid the ultimate price. A group of my friends, and my sis too, decided to spend New Year’s morning with their dogs on off-leash Carmel Beach, California. There, they made this curious discovery in the drift line. The slim neck of…

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A Redtail Surfperch Photo Shoot

Back in mid October I spent part of a day trying to get some new shots of one of my favorite surf zone fishes, the redtail surfperch, Amphistichus rhodoterus. I didn’t get a lot of redtail participation, and as I explain below, I didn’t spend much time with those that did. My photo shoot wasn’t a…

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Surfperch Clades Partition by Habitat, Suggesting Adaptive Radiation

Gary Longo and Giacomo Bernardi just published a paper on the evolutionary history of surfperch (embiotocidae) in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. They used RAD sequence data to describe the embiotocid radiation in the temperate North Pacific, and among the findings are (1) clades partition by habitat, suggesting adaptive radiation, and (2) the rise of kelp…

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Using surfperches to help understand the genomic basis of divergence and local adaptation

Gary Longo is a graduate student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, in the Bernardi lab, at UC Santa Cruz. Gary introduces his work on the Embiotocidae in the guest post below. I became interested in the molecular evolution of fishes while taking an undergraduate Ichthyology course. I was majoring in both marine biology and molecular…

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Close Quarters: Redtail and Silver Surfperch Share the Surf

Redtail surfperch, Amphistichus rhodoterus, and silver surfperch, Hyperprosopon ellipticum, can be found year round on almost any exposed sandy beach between from the Long Beach Penninnsula, Washington to Point Reyes, California USA.   In the surf-swept intertidal of this region, they are the most common members of the Amphistichinae, a six-species clade of surfperches in the…

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Surfperches Share Sandy Shores

Below are images of sandy beaches more or less occupied by the surfperches, Amphistichus rhodoterus and Hyperproson ellipticum, year around.  All of the photos were taken at low tide and the views are to the north.  Do you notice any differences?  Do you think a surfperch could? Here on theoutershores, we’re always thinking about how…

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Sampling Surfperch on the Incoming Tide

I’m always getting asked how several species of closely related small silvery surfperch can share sandy beaches without tripping over each other.  How do they partition the surf zone?  Do they eat different prey, avoid each other?  Maybe they find other ways to coexist.  Our fascination with coexistence is well-founded; it explains why there are…

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They Don’t Call ’em Surfperch for Nothing

On November 23 I posted this image on the TOS Facebook Page with the words, “Chilly morning on theoutershores.  Will the fish bite on these?”  I had an interest in catching a few surfperch, but it wasn’t meant to be.  Why did that happen?  Why no fish?  I might be able to offer an explanation.  My explanation…

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Below the Surface with the Walleye Surfperch

Most of the time, my only contact with walleye surfperch is on the business end of a fishing line.  Almost everything I know of them has come from books and scientific literature, or hands-on encounters. In fact, my first-ever TOS post, Explore the Surf Zone, featured the image above.  Since then, I’ve written more about…

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Composition of the Catch

The image below is a screen cap of the cover page of what is probably my favorite surfperch paper.  I’ve learned a ton about surfperch natural history from the material Darrell Pruden put together for this report.  Darrell’s retired now and I hope he knows how important this work is to all of us surfperch…

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