Humboldt County, California, US
These stonecrops were on a oceanfront basalt bluff less than 50 feet above the high tide mark.
They were found on the trail to down to the Mussel Rocks.
This Northern Clingfish had locked itself between the arms of an Ochre Starfish (Pisaster ochraceus). They use their pelvic fins to create a strong suction action that holds them fast to rocks, even in rushing water.
Several of these fish were seen under rocks and seaweed in the tidepools at low tide.
This eel-like gunnel was identified by it's fairly large pectoral fin (on the other gunnels, this fin is tiny to nonexistent), overall color, and habitat. This species comes in an array of colors, from green to brown and is especially common in tidepools. Unfortunately, the diagnostic dark bar below the fish's eyes isn't visible in any of the photos.
These shrimp were fairly common in the seaweed covered rocks in the mid to low intertidal.
There are 10 species of broken-back shrimp along the northern California coast and most are highly variable in their color, often requiring a close examination of their carapace ornamentation to make a positive identification.
These small porcelain crabs were quite common under rocks in the mid-intertidal.
This Sunflower Star was over a foot across and unlike many seastars, this one's skin feels very soft, like oiled velvet.
This mussel ball was over a yard across.
These photos were identified as M. californianus by the irregular radial ribs that cross the shells. This distinguishes them from other, very similar members of their genus along the Northern California coast.
This individual was found beneath a rocky ledge in the tidepools soon after the water receded.
This is one of 17 species of Mopalia found along the coast of central and northern California. Luckily the resolution in this photo was clear enough that the thick, recurved, non-bristled setae around its mantel are clearly visible, helping identify this species. It was found under a rock in the Patrick's Point tidepools.
This Cooper's Chiton was found under a rock in a protected, sand-bottomed patch of tidepool. This species is known from northern Washington to southern California.
This heavily eroded shield limpet was at least 1 1/2" long and is a decent example of the thick-ribbed "rock form" of this species. Other "forms" of shield limpet are known that live on mussel beds and kelp stems.
It was found fairly high in the intertidal on the side of a large boulder.
Several of these nudibranchs were found in the tidepools of Patrick's Point State Park.
Great to see so many, apparently healthy, Ochre Stars. The area was devastated last year by Sea Star Wasting Disorder. Leather Stars and Blood Stars were also in abundance and looking healthy