Tidepool Treat: The SchizymeniaKatharina Connection

The low tides of late summer brought me a tidepool treat. I’d read about a connection between a red seaweed called slimy leaf, Schizymenia pacifica, and the Katy chiton, Katharina tunicata, but hadn’t seen it myself. I had seen Katy chitons decked out with various seaweed and animal hitchhikers, but I did not recall slimy leaf among them. By…

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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…

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Bringing out the Red in Rhodophyta

The intertidal can be a drab place, it usually is where I wander. In these images I’ve made it all the more so by dialing down the colors to grayscale. Everything but the reds. A patch patch of Plocamium looks good against the surrounding grays. Below, a red epiphyte, probably something like Antithamnionella pacifica. The…

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A Brief Account (with Video!) of the Bangia-Human Hair Resemblance

Bangia-like filamentous reds are a naturalist’s delight in the exposed upper intertidal, where they favor the tops of rounded boulders and rocks. The filaments of these inscrutable reds wave in the swash like thinning human hair, soaked and windswept on a blustery day. When the surge recedes the filaments fall limply, like a mop or…

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