Thursday, July 17, 2014

Got (Identification) Species? Team OBG (Oldie But Goodies)

My team OBG (Oldie but Goodies) members and I observed a total of 15 species while on the docks along the Barking Crab.  In my observation, I am able to identify several species.  Therefore, I will describe the species and estimation of size to the best of my knowledge with the support and results gathered from my team member’s research discussion, personal pictures, our guide book, and the internet.

  The first species, at first glance to me resembled a green collard like seaweed, but then a careful reconsideration it appeared to me as a piece of “Boston lettuce.”  However, with research I was able to make a positive identity with review through my personal picture, and guide book to be of the origins from Green Seaweeds family Ulva lactuca called sea lettuce (Gosner P1 .1). 

The second species, a brown seaweed that appeared at first glance to resemble burnt spinach fettuccine, but at a closer look it was discovered to have several sacs along the ligaments which had orange color on the sac portion along with imprints of snowflake and nail art flowers.  The discovery of this species is from the origins of rockweeds and related brown seaweeds called knotted wrack weed (Gosner P1 .2).

The third species, at first look, we described as a string like shape forming or camouflage shrimp like creature on the seaweed that was the size of a finger-tip length wise proved a challenge to identify.  Next, attempt to identify this species appeared to have praying mantis and shrimp like features which was a greater help.  The discovery of this species identity is from the origins of the Caprella called skeleton shrimps (Gosner P1 .53).

The next species that we could not keep alive long enough due to immediate sun exposure was cooking right before our eyes turning a pink in color from its original clear larvae type.  This species resembled was researched to be a crab larvae, funny without any crab characteristics to general look of the original creature.

An egg size mussel was another species was identified with two other mussels attached by a string like ligament, not positive if it was seaweed or a true tendon of the species.  The other two mussels were of different size: one of a pea while the other was the length size of a human finger nail.  All were on the color spectrum of being a mix of blue, black, and dark brown.  I found this species was the easiest to identify because I eat them on occasion steamed with white wine and garlic.  A Blue Mussel.

Another shrimp like species was along the size of a ¼ carat diamond that was clear in color with an appearance to have antenna, and several legs.  Unfortunately, I could not positively identify how many legs or true identity due to the seconds of sun exposure caused the creature to die.
In the water, I observed a brownish green species that resembled a snow flake that could have been weather beaten.  I identify this species to be of origin of Chondrus crispus family called Irish moss weed (Gosner P1. 7).

Next, the Ivory Barnacle species was easily identifiable by being observed previously with Prof. BB on our second field trip, and along the fan pier docking.  The guide calls this species a “hitchhiker” because they attach themselves onto other species and travel outside of their original origin.  The specific identity of the barnacle is of origin to the Balanus (acorn barnacles) eburneus family which resembled a miniature assembly of a honey comb hive that had a whitish ivory in color and around the same size as a 1-3yr old baby tooth.

 I identified the ribbed lace weed which is from the membranoptera species family floating in the murky colored water of the harbor.  To my untrained eye this resembled a reindeer antler (Gosner P1. 6).

Another species of seaweed resembled a slab of soggy bread with a yellowish tinge color that was tangled within the other seaweeds.  This species was Sea Colander (Gosner).

I saved another easy identity of a species.  We are New Englanders’ and who cannot identify a LOBSTAH (lobster) not just any lobster though but a Maine species which was brought up in the yellow lobster trap.  In putting myself in a lobsters mind, I thought just maybe they imagined they were in NYC trying to hail a yellow taxi...hey TAXI...oh no its a TRAP...ha-ha!

Another species that was easy to identify was a crab, but not just any crab it was of the origin Libinia emarginata family called Common Spider Crab.  They were at first glance a charcoal color; however, upon careful viewing of my pictures the color of the crab was a muddy brown, and was the size of an average female fist (Gosner P1. 60) Also, we saw a deceased mud crab which was toast on the dock after the birds got finished it with it, but it was still recognizable to identify from the origin of P. Herbstii family

Also, in the lobster trap was another species of crab from the origin family swimming and rock crabs called...guess what...a Rock (Cancer irroratus) Crab that both appeared as a reddish orange color which were also carrying a few Barnacles on the top of its shell.  The 2 Rock Crab descriptions are:  the first was the size of an informal circle/oval appearance of a medium warped saucer, while the other was a size resembling a small keepsake promotional Frisbee in an informal circle diameter shape (Gosner P1. 61).

The famous jelly fish species was easily identifiable because of it being observed in my youth.  However, I cannot say definitely if this is the same species.  I describe the resemblance of a round base mostly clear in color with pertinent white trim with a 4 leaf clover shape inside which had a pulsating swagger.  I cannot say definitely, if this is the specific species, I recall from my youth, but I knew it was a jelly fish.  Also, we previously saw this species with Prof. BB on our second field trip along the Harbor.  The true identity of the jelly fish is from the origin Aurelia aurita called Moon Jelly (Gosner P1. 31).

       Lastly, the final species, I laid my eyes upon was of another famous sea creature called the Star Fish.  The color of this species was a burgundy brownish oatmeal colored freckles with an orange/yellowish pertinent dot on the middle of the 5 point even body.  Yet, the true identity is from the origin Asteriid Sea Stars called Boreal (A. vulgaris) Asterias (Gosner P1. 63).



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