The New Beachcomber’s Guide to Seashore Life of California

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Newly revised and expanded, this guide to the most common animals and plants of the California seashore is a must-have companion for any curious beach visitor.

Look no further than The New Beachcomber’s Guide to Seashore Life of California for the essential tidal guidebook. More than 600 species of the sponges, molluscs, crustaceans, sea stars, sea anemones, jellies, fishes, seaweeds and other flora and fauna you’re likely to see are described here in concise detail―that’s more than double the entries from the original and ever-popular Beachcomber’s Guide to California.

Each entry is photographed in splendid color for identification in the natural habitat, and there are new indicators classifying introduced/invasive species. Also included with each species are common and scientific names, description, size, habitat, range and interesting notes, such as how the Dalmation polyclad has about forty eyes or how it takes ten years for a common lampshell to reach full size.

With information on tides, intertidal habitats, harvesting shellfish, sustainable beachcombing practices, as well as an illustrated glossary, The New Beachcomber’s Guide to Seashore Life of California is a beautifully informative resource that will delight casual and expert naturalists alike.

Author(s): J. Duane Sept
Edition: Revised and Expanded
Publisher: Harbour Publishing
Year: 2023

Language: English
City: Pender Harbour

Half Title Page
Title Page
Understanding Tides
Understanding Intertidal Habitats
Sand Beaches And Mudflats
Sand Beaches
Rocky Shores
Splash Zone
High Intertidal Zone
Middle Intertidal Zone
Low Intertidal Zone
Under Rocks
Floating Docks and Pilings
Harvesting Shellfish
Red Tide
PSP (Red Tide) Hotline
Protecting Our Marine Resource
Observing Intertidal Life
A Note Of Caution
Getting The Most Out of This Guide
Shell Plates
Field Guide
Smooth Urn Sponge
California Boring Sponge
Red Encrusting Sponge
Mucus Sponge
Purple Encrusting Sponge
Gray Moon Sponge
Yellow-green Encrusting Sponge
Cobalt Sponge
Purple Slippery Sponge
Orange Finger Sponge
Sea Anemones, Hydroids & Jellies
Sea Anemones & Cup Corals
Orange Cup Coral
Aggregating Soft Coral
Jelly-dwelling Anemone
Ten-tentacled Anemone
Moonglow Anemone
Aggregating Anemone
Sunburst Anemone
Giant Green Anemone
Incubating Anemone
Brooding Anemone
Proliferating Anemone
Stubby Rose Anemone
Warty Painted Anemone
White-spotted Anemone
Fish-eating Anemone
Short Plumose Anemone
Giant Plumose Anemone
Orange-striped Anemone
Strawberry Anemone
Hydroids & Allies
Orange Hydroid
Purple Encrusting Hydrocoral
Bean Clam Hydroid
Turgid Garland Hydroid
Ostrich-plume Hydroid
Solitary Pink-mouth Hydroid
By-the-wind Sailor
Cross Jelly
Many-ribbed Hydromedusa
Red-eye Medusa
Aggregating Jelly
Large True Jellies & Stalked Jellies
Pacific Sea Nettle
Black Sea Nettle
Purple-striped Jelly
Lion’s Mane Jelly
Pacific Moon Jelly
Fried Egg Jelly
Stalked Jellies
Comb Jellies
California Sea Gooseberry
Sea Gooseberry
Spotted Comb Jelly
Marine Worms
Dalmatian Polyclad
Montgomery’s Flatworm
California Flatworm
Large Leaf Worm
Tapered Flatworm
Black-striped Flatworm
Ruffled Black-ridged Flatworm
Monterey Flatworm
Ribbon Worms
Six-lined Ribbon Worm
Orange Ribbon Worm
Rose Ribbon Worm
Lavender and White Ribbon Worm
Two-spotted Ribbon Worm
V-Neck Ribbon Worm
Pink-fronted Ribbon Worm
Many-eyed Ribbon Worm
Green Ribbon Worm
Purple-backed Ribbon Worm
Velvet Ribbon Worm
Segmented Worms
American Proboscis Worm
Bat Star Worm
Pile Worm
Giant Clam Bed Worm
Leafy Shimmyworm
California Fireworm
Copper-haired Sea Mouse
Painted Fifteen-paired Scaleworm
White-banded Scaleworm
Eighteen-paired Scaleworm
Frilled Commensal Scaleworm
Red Commensal Scaleworm
Red-banded Commensal Scaleworm
Porcupine Worm
Fringed Filament-worm
Sheathed Bristle-cage Worm
Pacific Lugworm
Red-banded Bamboo-worm
California Sandcastle Worm
California Trumpetworm
Fringe-hooded Tube Worm
Basket-top Tube Worm
Coarse-tubed Pink Spaghetti-worm
Brown Intertidal Spaghetti-worm
Robust Spaghetti-worm
Split-plume Feather-duster Worm
Northern Feather-duster Worm
Spiny Christmas-tree Worm
Shell-binding Colonial Worm
Red-trumpet Calcareous Tubeworm
Spiral Tube Worm
Peanut Worms
Pacific Peanut Worm
Bushy-headed Peanut Worm
Echiuran Worms (Spoonworms)
Fat Innkeeper Worm
Acorn Worms
Acorn Worm
Dwarf Chiton
Thick Ribbed Chiton
Humptailed Chiton
Pectinate Lepidozona
Radiating Chiton
Cooper’s Chiton
Merten’s Chiton
Conspicuous Chiton
Heath’s Chiton
Rosy Slender Chiton
Regular Chiton
Gould’s Baby Chiton
Hartweg’s Chiton
Keep’s Chiton
California Spiny Chiton
Southern Spiny Chiton
Cryptic Spiny Chiton
Gem Chiton
Painted Dendrochiton
Lined Chiton
Loki’s Chiton
Blue-line Chiton
Southern Hairy Chiton
Northern Hairy Chiton
Mossy Chiton
Woody Chiton
Hind’s Mopalia
Swan’s Mopalia
Sinuate Mopalia
Red-flecked Mopalia
Black Katy Chiton
Giant Pacific Chiton
Abalone, Limpets & Snails
Rough Keyhole Limpet
Giant Keyhole Limpet
Two-spotted Keyhole Limpet
Volcano Keyhole Limpet
Hooded Puncturella
Many-ribbed Puncturella
Ringed Blind Limpet
Whitecap Limpet
Giant Owl Limpet
Shield Limpet
Northern Finger Limpet
Southern Finger Limpet
Dwarf Finger Limpet
Rough Limpet
Test’s Limpet
File Limpet
Black Limpet
Fenestrate Limpet
Mask Limpet
Pacific Plate Limpet
Seaweed Limpet
Unstable Limpet
Surfgrass Limpet
Painted Limpet
Black Abalone
Northern Abalone
Red Abalone
Green Abalone
Flat Abalone
Flat Hoofsnail
Pacific Half-slippersnail
Onyx Slippersnail
Atlantic Convex Slippersnail
Northern White Slippersnail
Western White Slippersnail
Hooked Slippersnail
Spiny Cup-and-saucer
Cup-and-saucer Snail
Reticulate Button Snail
Red Turban Snail
Wavy Turban Snail
Brown Turban Snail
Dusky Turban Snail
Black Turban Snail
Speckled Turban Snail
Gilded Turban Snail
Monterey Turban Snail
Western Banded Turban Snail
Norris’s Top Snail
Dark Dwarf-turban Snail
Spiral Margarite
Puppet Margarite
Channelled Topsnail
Glorious Topsnail
Blue Topsnail
Three-colored Topsnail
Checkered Periwinkle
Little Checkered Periwinkle
Flat-bottomed Periwinkle
Variable Lacuna
Wide Lacuna
Scaled Wormsnail
Monterey Wormsnail
Mudflat Snail
California Hornsnail
Threaded Bittium
Boreal Wentletrap
Scallop-edged Wentletrap
Money Wentletrap
Tinted Wentletrap
Appleseed Erato
Solander’s Trivia
California Trivia
Chestnut Cowrie
Lewis’s Moonsnail
Recluz’s Moonsnail
Western Baby’s Ear
Oregon Triton
Angular Unicorn
Checkered Unicorn
Spotted Unicorn
Leafy Hornmouth
Nuttall’s Hornmouth
Gem Murex
Festive Murex
Three-wing Murex
Circled Rocksnail
Sculptured Rocksnail
Purple Rocksnail
Lurid Rocksnail
Japanese Oyster Drill
Poulson’s Rock Snail
Atlantic Oyster Drill
Carinate Dovesnail
Variegated Amphissa
Wrinkled Amphissa
Frilled Dogwinkle
Lined Dogwinkle
Northern Striped Dogwinkle
Southern Striped Dogwinkle
Dark Unicorn Whelk
Kellet’s Whelk
Dire Whelk
Western Lean Nassa
Western Fat Nassa
Giant Western Nassa
Channeled Whelk
Eastern Mud Snail
Painted Spindle
Purple Olive
Baetic Olive
Zigzag Olive
Ida’s Miter
California Marginella
California Cone
Gray Snakeskin-snail
Common Purple Sea-snail
Stearn’s Ear Snail
San Diego Lamellaria
Shield Falselimpet
Spectacular Corolla
Leather Limpet
Nudibranchs & Allies
Nudibranch Allies
Striped Barrel Snail
Western Barrel-bubble
Pleatless Barrel-bubble
Cloudy Bubble Snail
White Bubble Snail
Japanese Bubble Snail
Green Bubble Snail
Spotted Aglajid
California Seahare
California Black Seahare
Taylor’s Seahare
Mushroom Sidegill
White Berthella
Hedgpeth’s Seahare
Nudibranchs (Order Nudibranchia)
Cryptic Nudibranch
Frost-spot Nudibranch
Hudson’s Horned Dorid
Rufus Tipped Nudibranch
Hopkin’s Rose
Black-tipped Spiny Doris
Barnacle-eating Dorid
Fuzzy Onchidoris
Salt-and-pepper Nudibranch
Cockerell’s Dorid
Sorcerer’s Nudibranch
Catalina Clown Dorid
Modest Clown Dorid
Spotted Triopha
Cooper’s Dorid
Spotted Leopard Dorid
Ringed Dorid
Monterey Sea Lemon
Sea Lemon
Heath’s Dorid
Red Sponge Nudibranch
Yellow-edged Nudibranch
Yellow-spotted Cadlina
Modest Cadlina
MacFarland’s Chromodorid
California Blue Dorid
Porter’s Blue Dorid
White-spotted Sea Goddess
California Yellow-gilled Sea Goddess
Diamondback Tritonia
White Dendronotid
Bushy-backed Nudibranch
Rainbow Nudibranch
Stubby Dendronotus
Hancock’s Nudibranch
Hammerhead Doto
Hooded Nudibranch
Frosted Nudibranch
Painted Nudibranch
White-and-orange-tipped Nudibranch
Spanish Shawl
Three-lined Aeolid
California Shag-rug Nudibranch
Olive’s Aeolid
Baba’s Festive Aeolid
Opalescent Nudibranch
Hilton’s Aeolid
Furrowed Nutclam
Western Bittersweet
California Mussel
Mediterranean Mussel
Pacific Blue Mussel
Asian Datemussel
California Datemussel
Northern Horsemussel
Straight Horsemussel
Atlantic Ribbed Mussel
Platform Mussel
Hemphill Fileclam
Olympia Oyster
Pacific Oyster
Eastern Oyster
San Diego Scallop
Spiny Pink Scallop
Smooth Pink Scallop
Pacific Calico Scallop
Kelp Scallop
Giant Rock Scallop
Pearly Jingle
Green False-jingle
California Lucine
Carpenter Carditid
Secret Jewelbox
Pacific Left-handed Jewelbox
Mud Shrimp Clam
Nuttall’s Cockle
Low-rib Cockle
Pacific Eggcockle
Spiny Cockle
California Venus
Wavy Venus
Smooth Venus
Rock Venus
Pacific Littleneck
Japanese Littleneck
Rough-sided Littleneck
Thin-shelled Littleneck
Pismo Clam
White Venus
Washington Butter Clam
California Butter Clam
Hearty Petricolid
Bodega Tellin
Plain Tellin
Bent-nose Macoma
Pointed Macoma
Sleek Macoma
Indented Macoma
Expanded Macoma
White-sand Clam
California Fat-tellin
Gould Beanclam
California Mahogany-clam
California Sunset Clam
Rose-painted Clam
Clipped Semele
Rock Semele
California Jackknife-clam
Sickle Jackknife-clam
Rosy Jackknife-clam
Pacific Razor-clam
Hemphill Surfclam
Hooked Surfclam
Fat Gaper
Pacific Gaper
California Softshell-clam
Boring Softshell-clam
Arctic Hiatella
Pacific Geoduck
Rough Piddock
Beaked Piddock
Wart-necked Piddock
Scale-sided Piddock
Flat-tip Piddock
Feathery Shipworm
Punctate Pandora
California Lyonsia
Rock Entodesma
Octopods & Squids
California Two-spot Octopus
Giant Pacific Octopus
Pacific Red Octopus
Opalescent Squid
Common Lampshell
Red Velvet Mite
Little Brown Barnacle
Brown Buckshot Barnacle
Thatched Barnacle
Red Thatched Barnacle
Common Acorn Barnacle
Crenate Barnacle
Giant Acorn Barnacle
Pacific Red-striped Barnacle
White-ribbed Red Barnacle
Little Striped Barnacle
Goose Barnacle
Smooth Gooseneck Barnacle
Pacific Gooseneck Barnacle
Scavenging Isopod
Oregon Pill Bug
Smooth-tailed Isopod
Pencil Isopod
Shouldered Isopod
Monterey Isopod
Eelgrass Isopod
Small-eyed Isopod
Vosnesensky’s Isopod
Sea Slater
Western Sea Roach
Mud Shrimp Parasitic Isopod
Tube-dwelling Amphipod
California Beach Hopper
Blue-horned Beach Hopper
Pink Beach Hopper
Skeleton Shrimp
Stearns’ Sea Spider
California Sea Spider
Shrimps & Crabs
Red Rock Shrimp
Smooth Bay Shrimp
Dock Shrimp
Littoral Pistol Shrimp
Twistclaw Pistol Shrimp
Stout Shrimp
Shorthorn Shrimp
Barred Shrimp
Sitka Shrimp
Smalleyed Shrimp
Laguna Lebbeid
Deep Blade Shrimp
Infraorder Palinura (Burrowing Shrimp & Spiny Lobsters)
Blue Mud Shrimp
Bay Ghost Shrimp
Tidepool Ghost Shrimp
California Spiny Lobster
Squat Lobsters, Hermit Crabs, Porcelain Crabs
Pelagic Red Crab
Hermit Crabs: Superfamily Paguroidea
Gold Ring Hermit
Bering Hermit
Blueband Hermit
Grainyhand Hermit
Greenmark Hermit
Hairy Hermit
Moonsnail Hermit
Pacific Mole Crab
Spiny Mole Crab
Flat Porcelain Crab
Flattop Crab
Cabrillo’s Porcelain Crab
Chocolate Porcelain Crab
Thick-clawed Porcelain Crab
Granular Claw Crab
Furry Crab
Umbrella Crab
Mexican Fiddler
Purple Shore Crab
Hairy Shore Crab
Striped Shore Crab
Lumpy Rubble Crab
Ninetooth Pebble Crab
Black-clawed Crab
Knobkneed Crab
Retiring Hairy Crab
Graceful Decorator Crab
Northern Kelp Crab
Graceful Kelp Crab
Cryptic Kelp Crab
Foliate Kelp Crab
Southern Kelp Crab
Sharp-nosed Crab
Dwarf Teardrop Crab
Helmet Crab
Dungeness Crab
Graceful Rock Crab
Red Rock Crab
Pygmy Rock Crab
Spot-bellied Rock Crab
European Green Crab
Gaper Pea Crab
Tube-dwelling Pea Crab
Moss Animals
Pacific Staghorn Bryozoan
Branched-spine Bryozoan
Kelp Encrusting Bryozoan
Sea-lichen Bryozoan
Fluted Bryozoan
Orange Encrusting Bryozoan
Derby Hat Bryozoan
Red-rust Bryozoan
Spiny-skinned Animals
Sea Stars
Spiny Sand Star
Vermilion Star
Leather Star
Pacific Blood Star
Dwarf Mottled Henricia
Bat Star
Morning Sunstar
Striped Sunstar
Fragile Rainbow Star
Mottled Star
Six-rayed Star
Painted Star
Giant Pink Star
Giant Spined Star
Purple Star
Sunflower Star
Brittle Stars
Western Long-armed Brittle Star
Common Long-armed Brittle Star
Black and White Brittle Star
Dwarf Brittle Star
Kinnerly’s Brittle Star
Western Spiny Brittle Star
Smooth-spined Brittle Star
Flat-spined Brittle Star
Banded Brittle Star
Diablo Brittle Star
Panamanian Brittle Star
Smooth Brittle Star
Sea Urchins & Sand Dollars
Purple Sea Urchin
Giant Red Sea Urchin
Eccentric Sand Dollar
Sea Cucumbers
Creeping Pedal Sea Cucumber
Pale Creeping Pedal Sea Cucumber
California Sea Cucumber
Warty Sea Cucumber
Scarlet Dwarf Sea Cucumber
Tar Spot Sea Cucumber
Orange Sea Cucumber
Pale Sea Cucumber
Peppered Sea Cucumber
Stiff-footed Sea Cucumber
Sweet Potato Sea Cucumber
Solitary Sea Squirts
Spiny-headed Sea Squirt
Long-stalked Sea Squirt
Warty Sea Squirt
Shiny Red Sea Squirt
Disc-top Sea Squirt
Social Ascidians
Taylor’s Social Tunicate
Lightbulb Tunicate
Compound Ascidians
California Sea Pork
Red Sea Pork
Elephant Ear Tunicate
Yellow-lobed Tunicate
Sand Tunicate
Mushroom Tunicate
Stalked Compound Tunicate
Multi-lobed Tunicate
Carpet Tunicates
Harbour Star Ascidian
Orange Chain Tunicate
Pelagic Tunicates or Salps
Twin-sailed Salp
Cartilaginous Fishes
California Horn Shark
Swell Shark
Big Skate
Longnose Skate
Bony Fishes
California Grunion
Blind Goby
Black Prickleback
High Cockscomb
Mosshead Warbonnet
Penpoint Gunnel
Crescent Gunnel
Saddleback Gunnel
Crevice Kelpfish
Longfin Sculpin
Tidepool Sculpin
Snubnose Sculpin
Grunt Sculpin
Plainfin Midshipman
Tidepool Snailfish
Northern Clingfish
Green Algae
Sea Hair
Common Sea Lettuce
Corkscrew Sea Lettuce
Tangled Seaweed
Sea Moss
Sea Pearls
Sea Staghorn
Spongy Cushion
Brown Algae
Fungal Crust Seaweed
Sea Cauliflower
Convoluted Sea Fungus
Banded Tidepool Fan
Flat Acid Leaf
Stringy Acid Leaf
Sugar Kelp
Split Kelp
Oar Weed
Sea Cabbage
Five-ribbed Kelp
Old Growth Kelp
Winged Kelp
Feather Boa Kelp
Sea Palm
Southern Sea Palm
Netted Blade
Bull Kelp
Giant Perennial Kelp
Pacific Rockweed
Spindle-shaped Rockweed
Dwarf Rockweed
Giant Bladder Chain
Red Algae
Red Fringe
Staghorn Fringe
Rubber Threads
Hairy Seaweed
Bleached Brunette
Encrusting Coralline Algae
Stalked Coralline Disk
Stone Hair
Tidepool Coralline Algae
Coral-leaf Algae
Coarse Bead-coral Algae
Seagrass Crust
Nail Brush Seaweed
Broad Iodine Seaweed
Red Sea-leaf
Succulent Seaweed
Peppered Spaghetti
Flat-tipped Forked Seaweed
Flat-tipped Wire Algae
Turkish Towel Seaweed
Papillate Seaweed/Sea Tar
Iridescent Seaweed
Sea Sacs
Sea Belly
California Sea Lace
Half-fringed Sea Fern
Winged Fronds
Veined Blade Algae
Ruffled Red Seaweed
Black Tassel
Diamond Cartilage Seaweed
Black Pine Seaweed
Flowering Plants
Common Pickleweed
Scouler’s Surfgrass
Torrey’s Surfgrass
Common Eelgrass
Seaside Plantain
Illustrated Glossary
Further Reading