Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Benthic Sample Processing

At the beginning of this week Kim, Kristin, and an array of undergraduate students finished processing the first round of November core samples from Martha's Vineyard. Taylor was the first site we tackled and come to find out appears to have some of the most diversity of all Vineyard sites, at least for November. It was a good crash course for us learning to ID a variety of polychaetes, bivalves, amphipods, and the occasional isopod. Throughout all of the Menemsha Pond sites we continued to see a diversity of species. Once we began the site at Lagoon pond it quickly became apparent that shells would be in the majority of specimen composition. For all of the sites in Lagoon we found a lot of different bivalves and gastropods. We even ended up using a North American shell guide to help with the identification. The two most common families of polychaetes were Nereidae and Spionidae. For bivalves we found a lot of Veneridae and Tellinidae specimens. As for the amphipods we had specimens from every family in our guide book as well as some we had not seen before. Gastropods from Lagoon Pond were primarily slipper shells and a species from the Cerithiidae family, Bittium alternatum. Here are some photos of some of the common and interesting things that we have found to this point:

Family Nereidae

Close up of the head of a Nereis

Family Tellenidae

Bittium alternatum

One of two bay scallops (Argopectin irradians) that we have seen so far

Astarte undata

Family Epitoniidae

Family Ischyroceridae

Family Phoxocephalidae

Mysid Shrimp (Praunus flexuosus) that we found a few of

All of us in the lab are looking forward to only 5 cores per site! We have a good start on Menemsha Pond sites for December already and can't wait to see what other kinds of interesting things we find!

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure if this a mis label of the picture or not but the animal referred to as Astarte Undata in the post above is indeed Mercenaria mercenaria or the hard shell clam.