Monday, July 26, 2010

grunion greeting, 2010 #6



grunion greeting
full moon cycle, 10:35-12:30, overcast skies

Yeah, I know, I said we weren't going to do this again... but Dr. Martin let us know she was going to be in town and checking a couple beaches along Monterey Bay. I didn't commit to going out. It's been an extremely busy several weeks for us, and yet we wanted to see grunion this year.

We did. Count em'... 2. I'm okay with that.

Andy and I stood by our usual spot, while our cohorts walked down the beach. Karen called us over. Diane and her friend are reporting 30. I was playing with Karen's night scope (very cool toy) and didn't take any pictures of grunion for this blog. Here's a picture from last year that about sums up our experience of volunteering.

However, I did get a much better photo of that crab we saw last year on June 8. I've been looking for an ID and have been unsuccessful. I believe it is a type of shore crab. Can you ID?

ps 10/07/10 - While searching through Stanford's Hopkins Marine SeaNet site, I came upon the graceful rock crab (Metacarcinus gracilis, aka Cancer gracilis). Woohoo! Thanks to Steve at Blue Jay Barrens (link has been removed as he is no longer blogging), I now have a book that keys out this crab, but I had the preconceived notion that Cancer crabs were much, much larger and didn't believe the key. Of course, it's always easier to double-check keys once you know the answer.

7 comments:

Steve Willson said...

I'm certainly glad you got to see some grunion, even if there were only two. That's two more than I've seen here.

Wish I could help with the crab ID. For some reason I have a copy of The Light and Smith Manual: Intertidal Invertebrates from Central California to Oregon sitting on my desk. It's a very interesting book and could certainly be used for crab identification, but I don't think it has much practical application in southern Ohio.

Nature ID said...

Say, Steve, could you look up in your book for a small (~3") crab with 9 teeth or blunt spines along the edge of the shell behind the eyes? I've seen descriptions for 3 and 5 spined crabs.

sebi_2569 said...

Gorgeous, makes me want to go there. You've captured a wonderful mood.

Nature ID said...

Sebi - If you ever head our way, contact me. We'll show you around.

Steve Willson said...

Hi, Katie. I’m afraid the book isn’t going to be much help in this case. Everything is set up in a dichotomous key arrangement that looks at the most defining physical characteristics. The spines apparently weren’t one of those. The intent is to have the specimen in hand as you work through the keys. There are some interesting write-ups for the individual species, but those contain life history facts and don’t mention physical appearance. Sorry I wasn’t able to help get an ID.

Nature ID said...

Thanks for looking, Steve. May I borrow your book? I'm pretty good with keys and I'd like to try to ID an unknown specimen with only a couple photos. Let me send you my USPS address via e-mail. I believe I have your e-address already...

Nature ID said...

Steve! I have a positive crab ID as edited in my post above and yes the book keys out based on the teeth, but it doesn't mention the size of the animal. 'Course, I could have a younger one. Cool! Thanks, again.