SeaNet: Common Marine Organisms of Monterey Bay, California

This is a guide to common marine invertebrates, seaweeds and fishes likely to be encountered on rocky shores and kelp forests of Monterey Bay and central California. The site was created as a teaching tool for undergraduate students at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, CA. Notes on abundance and microhabitat pertain to southern  Monterey Bay and may not apply directly to other locations.  Cryptic and/or small-bodied species are under-represented here, since they are seldom encountered in the field without special efforts.
     If you would like to learn more about the biology of these organisms, see Ecology and Conservation of Kelp Forest Communities , an intensive summer course at Hopkins Marine Station, open to both Stanford and non-Stanford students.
     This site was created by James Watanabe, who has taught and conducted ecological research on kelp forests and rocky shores of Monterey Bay for more than 35 years.  Chris Patton provided invaluable technical support & photographic assistance.
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Page created by J.M. Watanabe 
All images copyright James Watanabe unless otherwise indicated
Contact:  watanabe_at_stanford_dot_edu                                                                                                                                   Last  update: 29 June 2016

Common Kelp Forest Organisms of Monterey Bay                               
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Phylum Porifera - sponges, simple suspension feeders

   Class Calcarea - sponges with calcium carbonate spicules
   Class Demospongiae - sponges with glass spicules
Acarnus erithacus  Leucandra heathi  Acanthancora cyanocrypta  Neopetrosia problematica
Phylum Cnidaria - radially symmetrical stinging predators

   Class Hydrozoa: hydroids, hydrocorals, siphonophores
   Class Scyphozoa:  true jellyfish
   Class Anthozoa:  sea anemones, corals, tube anemones, sea pens
Anthopleura sola
  Stylaster californica   Metridium farcimen  Chrysaora colorata

Phylum Nemertea - ribbon worms

Phylum Sipuncula - peanut worms
Phylum Platyhelminthes - flatworms

Phylum Bryozoa - moss animals, colonial suspension feeders
   Class Stenolaemata:   tubular bryozoans
   Class Gymnolaemata:   higher bryozoans
   Class Phylactolaemata
Bugula californica  Eurystomella bilabiata  Pherusella brevituba  Celleporina robsoniae

Phylum Mollusca - snails, slugs, clams, cephalopods, etc

  Class Gastropoda
     "Prosobranchs"   shelled gastropods
      Opisthobranchs   nudibranchs & allies
  Class Bivalvia:  clams, scallops, mussels
  Class Cephalopoda:  octopus & squid
  Class Polyplacophora:  chitons, with 8 dorsal shell plates

Callianax biplicata  Peltodoris nobilis  Octopus rubescens  Crassadoma gigantea

Phylum Annelida - segmented worms
   Class Polychaeta:   marine worms, tube worms
   Class Clitellata:   earthworms, leeches
Serpula vermicularis  Diopatra ornata  Myxicola infundibulum  Aphrodita japonica

Phylum Arthropoda - armored & jointed animals

   Class Crustacea - barnacles, crabs, amphipods, isopods, etc
Cryptolighodes sitchensis  Cancer antennarius  Pugettia richii  Balanus nubilius

Phylum Echinodermata - spiny skinned, pentaradial animals

   Class Echinoidea: sea urchins, sand dollars
   Class Holothuroidea:  sea cucumbers
   Class Ophiuroidea:  brittle stars
   Class Asteroidea: sea stars
Mediaster aequalis  Ophiothrix spiculata  Strongylocentrotus franciscanus  Cucumaria miniata

Phylum Chordata - animals with gill slits & notochords
   Subphylum Urochordata
   Subphylum Vertebrata
         Scorpaeniformes (rockfish, sculpins, greenling),
         Perciformes (& most other fishes)
Trididemnum & Didemnum  Cnemidocarpa finmarkiensis  Sebastes mystinus  Hypsurus caryi

Phylum Rhodophyta - red seaweeds
Phylum Ochrophyta (Phaeophyceae) - brown seaweeds

Pugetia firma  Fauchea laciniata  Nereocystis luetkeana  Cystoseira osmundacea

  Link to Practice Quizzes for Identification
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Page created by J.M. Watanabe 
All images copyright James Watanabe unless otherwise indicated
Contact:  watanabe_at_stanford_dot_edu                                                                                                                                   Last  update: 4 August 2017