Need help identifying some Saltwater species...

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Alexander, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Alexander Fishon

    Posts: 947
    WA
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    I have a general idea of what they are but maybe someone here knows the more specifics. I hit the beach with my wife and kids today to do some exploring, we dig, flip over rocks and throw a line here and there. We found various things and I'd like to know more details as in scientific names maybe or the type of creature it is?

    Here are some pics of what we found. One is a Rockfish of some sort, or Sculpin? It was pretty and was sporting some serious Olive shades in what nearly looked like camo. The phone pics don't do any of the pics much justice. The other is an Eel of sorts, but I wonder what kind of eel. And then there were these clear things stuck on the rocks, looked like eggs, not sure if they were though.. Any one have a good idea and ore details of what we were looking at?

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  2. Nicolas Eckhardt Member

    Posts: 57
    Seattle
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  3. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,713
    Olympia, WA
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    Hi Alexander,
    The first and second pictures appear to be pholids. Not my favorite group to identify as you need just the right perspective. But if I had to give it a name, it would be Pholis laeta (crescent gunnel). The pricklebacks, which can also be found in the same places, tend to have very small pectoral fins.
    The fish in the third and sixth photos are definitely Oligocottus maculosus, the tidepool sculpin. They are probably the most common tidepool species from Central California to at least B.C.
    The fourth photo appears to be of a Cebidichthys violaceus (monkeyface prickleback). They can be become quite large (to 2.5 feet) and are omnivorous; eating marine algae is extremely rare in cold waters.
    The fifth photo with the yellow eggs also has a snail which is the likely source of the eggs, the dog whelk, Nucella (either emarginata or canalicuta). The eggs complete their development inside the egg case and then emerge as miniature adults, without a long larval period. They drill into the shells of the barnacles that settle on the undersides of that rocks.

    Steve
    Alexander likes this.
  4. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,713
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +237 / 0
    Sorry Nick, prickly sculpins (and the rest of the genus Cottus) are found only in freshwater. That is a tidepool sculpin.
    Steve