This blog is dedicated to the environmental well-being of our Florida coastal habitat.

This blog is
dedicated to the environmental well-being of coastal habitat.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Manatee County: Florida Coastal Cleanup

Help Keep Manatee County Waters Clean

Participate on Saturday, October 2, 2010 from 9 a.m. to noon

Barefoot Beach on shaky ground
- Fort Myers News-Press

Broken-back shrimp

Photos and text by Dave Bulloch

Broken-back shrimp
One of a group of small (under 2 inches in length) shrimp that inhabit
grass flats. Highly variable in color. All have a bent abdomen.

Arrow shrimp
The large rostnum and the bump on its back help identify it,
but it has some close relatives which may lead to a mistaken
identification. It lives in grass flats.

Pepperment shrimp
Body streaked with prominent red lines.
A cleaner shrimp commonly found on sponges and wharf pilings.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Guided Beach Walks

Fall is coming and so are Bud Doyle's Guided Beach Walks...

From mid October 2010 thru April 2011, Bud Doyle will conduct

nature walks at Casperson Beach Park on the second and third

Tuesdays of each month.

On the second and third Thursdays, Bud will conduct guided

nature walks at North Jetty Beach Park.

All beach nature walks begin at 9 am and conclude at 11 am.

They are open to the general public and free of charge.

We'll talk about the Gulf of Mexico, its tides, currents, and storms.

Along the way, we'll identify shells, sharks teeth,birds, fish, and plant life.

Casperson Beach is Venice's rural beach while North Jetty Beach is

one of Florida's great shelling beaches.

For further information, call Bud Doyle at 941 488-4158.

Website offers glimpse of turtle hatchlings
- Daytona Beach News-Journal

Great Manatee Video

Mangrove John says to check this out:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Shrimp Review

Let's call these "straight-back" shrimp. Later, we'll post "hump-back shrimp". (These are not the common names.) All shrimp photos were taken by Dave Bulloch.

Pink shrimp are the most common, the ones you usually find at the grocery store.
Grass shrimp, of course, are one of several species
that live in local grass flats. They do well in aquaria.

The common snapping shrimp are also called pistol shrimp.
One greatly enlarged claw creates a sound that will stun small fish.
Just over 1 1/2 inches in length.

Watch this incredible video from BBCNewsWorldWide:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shore Birds: Dunlin & Long-billed Curlew

Thanks to Lou Newman for the great bird photos
Long-billed Curlew


Both of these birds usually feed in flocks.
Dunlins are larger than Sandpipers and Curlews are larger than either.

Mote hatches plan to help hatchlings
- Longboat Key Observer

3634 dead birds collected in gulf Wildlife Service says
- CNN. com

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cedar Key Shoreline 1936

Blogger Mom & Tarpon

Painted Leaf

(NOTE: If you like plants, click on "Plants" in the lower right corner of this post.)
The base of the crown leaves is usually a brighter red than seen here. The painted leaf is found in soils near the back of dunes.

Blooming Beach Grass - "Bushy Bluestem"

The bushy bluestem grass (Andropogon glomeratus) at the bottom of the photo shoot high up to produce lovely blooms. They are seen along the paths to Siesta Beach in late Summer.

State wants more help for manatees in Flagler
- Daytona Beach News-Journal

Sea jellies: the ultimate survivors
- Naples News

FWC looks at snock-redfish changes
- Sun Newspapers

Beach or shoreline fines hang on ruling
- Venice Gondolier Sun

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More than 500 red lionfish caught off Keys
- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Bird Key Park Renovation

Renovation of Bird Key Park west of Ringling Causeway
has been ongoing all summer. The west end work is almost finished.
The east end of the park is still at the "tearing out" stage.

Scientists monitor crucial seaweed for tar
- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Friday, September 10, 2010

EPA: Louisiana's sand berms not stopping much oil
- Huoma Today

The world in a shell

This large (~3") clam shell has become home to many animals.
White, tubular Florida wormsnails probably had a spiral point.
The purple-striped acorn barnacles share their world

with ivory acorn barnacles.

The worm shell on top may be broken off.
Boring turretsnails, a little over an inch long, are at bottom.
They have no siphon canal.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Flies in the sand

Sometimes, as one walks along the beach,
a swarm of insects will fly out of an old crab hole.
They look like house flies, but are slightly smaller and lighter in color.
We've never been able to get a good photo of them or an ID.

We bought a new book yesterday with a beach insect page.
There they were! STABLE FLIES (or dog-flies).

Photo courtesy of the University of Nebraska Ext. Lab.

Goo on a stick: Bryozoans

The individuals that constitute the mass along the stem of this seaweed
are called zooids. Since the group of critters are out of water,
they have closed up and the zooids
constitute the main clues to identification.
They are really not gooey at all.
As you can see, the colony has gone through a lot of trials
and tribulations in the surf and on the sand and is still intact.
You will find, if it suits you to pursue their natural history,
that they are a very diverse and difficult group to study.

Ghost Crab

It isn't easy to sneak up on a GHOST CRAB,
but everyone knows where his burrow is because of all those tracks.

Sometimes they hide under the sand with only their eyes out.

Ghost crabs grow up to 2 inches wide and eat almost anything..

Combat between males is highly ritualized
and rarely ends with contact.
This crab was in a highly trafficked area
of North Lido Beach about noon.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stakes are high for manatees and our aquatic ecosystems
- Sarasota Herald Tribune

What is this?

A jelly-like mass (probably formed around eel grass or a stick), this could be some sort of colonial animal. Several such objects were found in the wrack on North Lido Beach yesterday.
(click on the photo for a better view)

Here's another sample:

A large, lovely mass of orange turnicate was also on the beach.
We couldn't identify it at that point and
the camera was
out of storage space.

Shells on shell

Here are (probably) spotted slipper shells living on a
Florida fighting conch.
The slipper shells can't move much
in search of food, so they
have modified their manner of
feeding to trap food
with the mucus in the mantle.

Shells have all sorts of interesting behavior patterns.

Slipper shells have both male and female reproductive organs.
In general, the younger,
more active slippers are male;
the older sedimentary
slippers are female.
Slippers do not self-fertilize.
Their male and female organs
operate at different
times in their life cycle.

Oil will not create dead zones
- Bradenton Herald

Coquina Beach renourishment study under way
- Anna Maria Islander

Commission accepts settlement in land dispute
- Anna Maria Islander

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blogger in 1940s on Florida Keys

...but, which one is it?

Sea grass on the shoreline

Amazing... Lots of grass on the shoreline on Sunday.
Next to none today. About the same time of day both times.

Bird trouble on the beach, today

O.K. What is it?
It looks like a plover,
but plovers look very different in the Spring than in the Fall.
Golden plovers look a lot like black-bellied plovers.
We' ll guess : "Golden Plover", because a golden plovers's head
is blacker than a black- bellied plover's head in the Fall.
Maybe, the Auduboners watching can help us out.
(Back for more photos on Lido Key!)

Galaxaura rugosa

This lovely red alga was found on N. Lido Beach.
It is about 1 foot long and in excellent condition.

It is probably related to Galaxaura obstusata. (click for photo)

Great British Shark (and EggCase) Website

Horse conch eating lightning whelk

Enjoy a few more exciting photos like this at :
SE Littoral Society Invertebrates page
. . . and, by all means, double-click to make the photo larger.

"The horse conch (Pleuroploca gigantea), also known as the giant band shell, has been Florida's official state shell since 1969. This shell is native to the marine waters around Florida and can grow to a length of twenty-four inches. Young horse conchs have orange-colored shells; adults have orange apertures.
At least 535 million years ago, mollusks acquired the ability to secrete a carbonate of lime solution that formed a hard, protective shell around them. The word "conch" comes from a Greek word meaning "shell.", "
   - Florida Division of Historical Resources

Monday, September 6, 2010

(Mid) Lido Beach

Lido Beach (Lido Key, Sarasota) has beautiful white sands
and an ever-changing shoreline which is a joy to walk, swim, picnic, sun-bathe.
There are outdoor showers at several places
on the backside of the sand dunes.
Native plants line the dunes. Life guards are plentiful.

Concession stands, indoor showers and rest rooms,
and a pool (as well as ample parking) are located
near the mid-point of the island.

UPDATE: Snook fishing closed until next September in Southwest Fla.
- Naples News

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Algae: Shoreline Plant

Algae are a characteristic plant of the beach. Algae lives on rocks
and between the grains of sand and occasionally adds a green, gold,
pink or purple tint to the sand.
Algae on old jetty at the south end of the public Lido Beach
Other plants like Ulva (sea lettuce), manatee grass,
and sargassum (a brown algae or seaweed) are often washed up
onto the beach. The wrack line or strand line is a line of debris that
often runs parallel to the water’s edge and marks the high tide
line. This wrack, though unsightly, is important. It provides an ideal
environment for microorganisms, amphipods and insects.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tulip Snail Egg Cases

This egg case is 4-6 inches long and was found
at the water line on South Lido Beach.

Both tulip snail and horse conch have conical egg cases.
Those of the tulip conch have ruffled edges.
Horse conch egg cases have "bands" or ridges around the "cone".

Spider crab with acorn barnacles

BOTH crab and acorn barnacles are crustaceans!

Great Shell Photos

Mote enhances beach conditions Report
- Longboat Key Observer

High and not Dry