The Closer You Look, the Busier It Gets

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Posted by Merry on July 15, 2015 at 09:25:14:

This has been especially true lately, especially with sightings of different microcrustaceans out in force. Here are some of the animals (or things) that we've never seen before.

Kelp isopod, Pentidotea resecata
 photo Pentidotea resecata POTW DSC_1198_zps17ujevhe.jpg

Seldom seen amphipod, Podocerus cristatus
 photo Podocerus cristatus cropped DSC_1331_zpsygvanh7k.jpg

What a swarm of caprellid amphipods on a Distaplia tunicate!
 photo Caprellids on tunicate DSC_1438_zpshd0elkxn.jpg

Munnid isopods gleaning bits from the same species of tunicate.
 photo Munnids on Distaplia DSC_1532_zpskqovplc5.jpg

 photo Munnids on Distaplia DSC_1531_zps7woznl3b.jpg

Andy Lamb kindly identified this translucent orange tunicate as either Distaplia occidentalis or Distaplia sp.. It's abundant on Little Reef near Pt. Vicente, and is doing something very interesting below.
 photo Distaplia occidentalis or sp. DSC_1548_zpsrk1hjed8.jpg

Tunicates can reproduce via eggs and sperm or by the process of vegetative budding. These Distaplia tunicates are budding off little clones of themselves, which will be the end of the life cycle for the parent.
 photo Distaplia budding 2 DSC_1540_zpso6xj5rsy.jpg

 photo Distaplia budding 4 DSC_1566_zps0apyid5d.jpg

More of looking-closely-at-kelp produced this "Where's Waldo?" shrimp.
 photo Waldo shrimp DSC_1509_zpsantpn0h8.jpg

Demonstrating that even fishing line can be home to something, after the hydroid Obelia colonized the line, Doto form A set up housekeeping.
 photo Doto on fishing line DSC_1574_zps8xmsupte.jpg

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