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COMMON MARINE LIFE OF

THE GULF OF MAINE

Compiled by Arthur MacKay


Welcome to

COMMON MARINE LIFE


of
THE GULF OF MANE

Compiled by Arthur MacKay


Bocabec, NB, Canada

These resources are from my reference library and file cabinet ... real and virtual. They are created from
the contents of the working reference and publication files of Art MacKay and are made available for
reference purposes. They contain documents, drawings, photographs and other resources accumulated
over a 50 year period, including public domain materials as well as materials with copyrights held by
Arthur MacKay and others. Art MacKay can be contacted at art@bayof fundy.ca to clarify availability for
further publication. Public domain Wikibooks from Wikipedia are used where possible. They provide
excellent basic information, links, and images which are added to my private collections.
Section II The Algae
Irish Moss

Phylum: Rhodophycota (Red seaweeds)

Class Rhodophyceae

Distribution Widely distributed on rocky shores throughout the Gulf of Maine.

Habitat: Abundant on rocks on the middle to lower rocky shore and in tide pools. It
occurs sublittorally to 24 m. It can tolerate some reduction in salinity and can be found in
estuaries.

Description: Chondrus crispus is a small purplish-red seaweed (up to 22 cm long) found


on rocky shores and in pools. The fronds grow dichotomously from a narrow, unbranched
stipe and are flat and wide with rounded tips. This seaweed is highly variable in
appearance depending on the level of wave exposure of the shore and has a tendency to
turn green in strong sunlight. Underwater, the tips of the frond are iridescent.

Sources: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Art MacKay 2017
Hollow Green Weeds

Phylum: Chlorophyta

Recent names: Hollow Green Weeds Enteromorpha species

Distribution: Occurs throughout the Gulf of Maine. Common in rocky tide pools and
shallow subtidal shores on suitable habitat.

Habitat: Usually abundant in upper shore rock pools and attached to loose stones lower
down. Abundant where there is appreciable fresh water run off. Found in brackish waters
growing in estuaries and even ditches.

Description: Green seaweed up to 75 cm long, consisting of an inflated, irregular tube


attached via a minute hold-fast to the rock.. The frond (stem/foliage) usually has a
rounded tip. In very sheltered pools, it can grow to a very large size with fronds of up to 8
cm in diameter. Pale to dark green in colour.

Sources: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Art MacKay 2017
Rockweed, Bladder Wrack

Phylum: Chromophycota (Brown seaweeds)

Class Phaeophyceae

Distribution All coasts of the Gulf of Maine.

Habitat: This species is found intertidally on rocky shores in a wide range of exposures.
It is common on the mid shore often with Ascophyllum nodosum.

Description: The bladder wrack, Fucus vesiculosus, is a large brown algae, common on
the middle shore. It is found in high densities and fronds grow up to 2 metres long, living
for about three years.

Sources: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Art MacKay 2017
Kelp

Phylum
Brown seaweeds

Class
Phaeophyceae

Distribution: Common in the Gulf of Maine.

Habitat: Found attached to bedrock or other suitable hard substrata in the lower intertidal
and sublittoral fringe, but down to a maximum depth of 20 m in clear waters. Laminaria
digitata flourishes in moderately exposed areas or at sites with strong water currents. In
exposed locations with a great deal of wave action the species may extend upwards into
the lower eulittoral. Occurs in pools up to mid tide level and higher on wave exposed
coasts. Common on floats and pilings.

Description: A large conspicuous kelp growing up to 2 m in length commonly found at


low water during spring tides on rocky shores. The frond is broad and digitate, glossy and
dark brown in colour and lacks a midrib. The stipe is oval in cross section, smooth and
flexible and is usually free of epiphytes, though old stipes which have become slightly
roughened may support a few epiphytes.

Sources: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Art MacKay 2017
Red Encrusting Alga

Phylum: Rhodophycota (Red seaweeds)

Class Rhodophyceae

Distribution: Common in rocky tide pools and shallow rocky bottom to about 30 40
feet depending on light penetration.

Habitat: Occurs encrusted on submerged rocks.

Description: A calcareous alga that encrusts rocks. Individual plants may cover
extensive areas. They are bright pink in colour when alive but white when dead.

Sources: A. MacKay 2017


http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Sea Lettuce

Phylum: Chlorophycota (Green seaweeds

Class: Ulvophyceae

Distribution An ubiquitous plant found on all but the most exposed rocky shores.

Habitat: The sea lettuce is found at all levels of the intertidal area, although in more
northerly latitudes and in brackish habitats it is found in the shallow sublittoral. In very
sheltered conditions, plants that have become detached from the substrate can continue to
grow, forming extensive floating communities. The plant tolerates brackish conditions
and can be found on suitable substrata in estuaries.

Description: A small green alga (up to 30 cm across) with a broad, crumpled frond that
is tough, translucent and membranous. It is attached to rock via a small hold-fast.

Sources: A. MacKay 2017


http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Eel Grass

Phylum: Anthophyta Flowering plants

Class Liliopsida (Monocotyledons)

Distribution Zostera marina has a wide but patchy distribution in the Gulf of Maine.

Habitat: Eel grass is found primarily on sand to fine gravel in the subtidal, typically
down to 4 m, in sheltered waters such as shallow inlets, bays, estuaries and saline lagoons
as well as tide pools.

Description: Grass-like flowering plant with dark green, long, narrow, ribbon shaped
leaves 20-50 cm in length (exceptionally up to 2 m long) with rounded tips. Leaves shoot
from a creeping rhizome that binds the sediment. Leaves and rhizomes contain air spaces,
lacunae, that aid buoyancy. Numerous flowers occur on a reproductive shoot similar to
those of terrestrial grasses. Forms dense patches in the subtidal area and in tide pools and
salt ponds. Supports a diverse fauna and flora and may act as a nursery for fish and
shellfish.

Sources: A. MacKay 2017


http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Section I The Invertebrates
Tortoise Shell Limpet

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Gastropoda - Snails and slugs

Recent names: Tectura tessulata, Acmaea testudinalis, Collisella tessulata

Distribution: Occurs throughout the Gulf of Maine. Common in rocky tide pools and shallow
subtidal shores on suitable habitat.

Habitat: Found on the mid-shore into the sublittoral (to depths of 50 m) on the undersurface and
sides of rocks. Abundant in tide pools.

Description: A conical limpet with the apex anterior and smooth shell with fine radiating ridges.
The external shell is dull white, grey, brown or green with a reddish-brown mottling. The mantle
edge is copper-green with two rows of fine tentacles.

Key identification features

Small, up to 25 mm in length.
Apex on anterior half of shell.
Smooth shell with fine radiating ribs.
Shell dull white, grey or brown with reddish brown lines radiating from apex.

Sources: A. MacKay, 2017


http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Common Starfish

Phylum: Echinodermata

Class Asteroidea (Sea stars, cushion stars, sunstars & starfish)

Distribution: Found everywhere in the Bay of Fundy.

Habitat: Occurs in commonly on a variety bottom types that include coarse and shelly
gravel and rock. Common in tide pools under rocks of various sizes.

Description: Asterias vugaris is the most common and familiar starfish in the region.
Asterias rubens where it can grow up to 52 cm in diameter. It is variable in colour, though
usually orange, pale brown or violet. Deep-water specimens are pale. It has five tapering
arms, broad at the base and often slightly turned up at the tip when active.

Sources: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
A. MacKay, 2017
Acorn Barnacle

Phylum: Crustacea

Class Maxillopoda

Distribution: Occurs on intertidal rocks everywhere on the Gulf of Maine coast.

Habitat: The Acorn Barnacle is one of the dominant species of Fundy intertidal rocky
shores. It can be found on shores of all exposure.

Description: The Acorn Barnacles is the most widespread intertidal barnacle in the Bay
of Fundy. It may grow up to 15 mm in diameter and has 6 calcified grey-white shell
plates. It may be distinguished from other barnacles by the presence of a diamond shaped
opercular aperture and a membranous shell base. The barnacle feeds on zooplankton when
immersed, by extending the thoracic appendages (cirri). It is a cross fertilizing
hermaphrodite and may live for up to 8 years, depending on its position on the shore.

Sources: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Art MacKay 2017
Green Crab

1 Photo credit: Wikipedia

Phylum: Crustacea

Class Eumalacostraca (Crabs, shrimps and lobsters)

Distribution This invasive species appeared as far north as the Bay of Fundy in the
fifties. It is now exceedingly common everywhere and continues to expand its range
northward..

Habitat: Carcinus maenas is found on all types of shore, from high water to depths of 60
m in the sublittoral, but it is predominantly a shore and shallow water species. It tolerates
a wide range of salinities and is especially abundant in estuaries and salt marshes.

Description: The green crab has a shell (carapace) that is much broader than long (up to
8 cm across). The front of the carapace is serrated with five teeth on either side and three
rounded lobes between the eyes. The first pair of legs (pereopods) have well developed
pincers (chelae). Its colour is highly variable from dark green to orange and red.
Variation in colour may be due to the stage of the life cycle or the habitat. Juveniles in
particular display a wide range of mottled patterns.

Sources: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Art MacKay 2017
Club Hydroid

Phylum: Cnidaria Hydroids, jellyfish, sea anemones & corals

Class: Leptolida

Distribution Found occasionally and sometimes abundantly on rockweed.

Habitat: This hydroid is found on middle to lower shore, mainly as an epiphyte growing
on fucoid algae, such as Fucus vesiculosus and Ascophyllum nodosum.

Description: This colonial hydroid can appear in two forms either as a diffuse network of
stolons with scattered polyps or as a dense mat of stolons with many polyps. The stolon is
thread-like and the polyps rise directly from it growing up to 25 mm in height. The
polyps have 30 to 40 tentacles and have reproductive bodies clustered on short branches
below the tentacles. The polyps are pink, white or red. The physical form of the colony is
variable and thought to be determined by a range of environmental factors such as
substratum type, tidal exposure, food availability and water movement.

Sources: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Art MacKay 2017
Dog Whelk

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Gastropoda Snails and slugs

Distribution Common on all rocky coasts of the Gulf of Maine.

Habitat: Found on wave exposed to sheltered rocky shores from the mid shore
downwards. Rarely present in the sublittoral but may be abundant in areas exposed to
extremely strong tidal stress. They are gregarious and common amongst barnacles and
mussels on which they feed.

Description: The shell is broadly conical, bearing spiral ridges and consisting of a short
pointed spire, dominated by the last whorl. The shell is usually up to 3 cm in height by 2
cm broad but may reach up to 6 cm in height (Crothers, 1985). The shell colour is
variable, usually white, but may be grey, brown, or yellow, occasionally with contrasting
(usually brown) spiral banding. A short, open siphonal canal leads from base of the
aperture. The outer lip of the aperture is thin in young specimens, becoming thickened
and toothed internally with age. The shell shape, shell thickness and relative size of the
aperture vary with wave exposure. This variety of dog whelk is called Nucella lapillus
var. imbricata. The animal itself is white or cream coloured with white speckles, and a
flattened head. The head bears two tentacles, each bearing a eye about one third of the
length of the tentacle from its base. The egg capsules of Nucella lapillus are vase shaped,
about 8mm high, usually yellow, and found attached to hard substrata in crevices and
under overhangs.

Sources: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Art MacKay 2017
Razor Clam

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Pelecypoda (Bivalves)

Distribution: Common, but difficult to locate.

Habitat information: Razor shells live in deep, vertical, permanent burrows in fine,
sometimes muddy, sand from extreme low water to the shallow sublittoral.

Description: Razor shells have an elongate and fragile shell with valves gaping at both
ends. The shell is smooth on the outside and whitish in colour with vertical and horizontal
reddish-brown or purplish-brown markings separated by a diagonal line. The
periostracum is olive-green. The inner surface is white with a purple tinge and the foot is
pale red-brown. The presence of razor shells in sand is indicated by keyhole-shaped
openings made by the short, united siphons which extend just above the sediment surface
when the animal is suspension feeding.

Sources: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Art MacKay 2017
Scale Worm

Phylum: Annelida (Segmented worms)

Class: Polychaeta

Distribution: Common under rocks in tide pools and subtidally to shallow depths.

Habitat: This species is found at low water and under stones or in crevices. Has been
found among holdfasts of kelp.

DescriptionThe body is 10-35 mm long, broad, flattened and more or less straight-sided.
The frontal parapodia are not well marked. The dorsal parapodia extend only as far as the
chaetae. It has 15 pairs of oval scales that overlap and cover the back except for the last
two segments. The dorsal scales are smooth and unfringed and decorated with very
variable patterns. The scales are pale reddish brown in colour with a dark circle on each
scale. The underside surface has a median dark-red band and transverse brownish stripes
posterioirly. The head is reddish in colour with brown markings on the antennae and
parapodia.

Sources: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Art MacKay 2017
Common Periwinkle

1Wikipedia

Phylum: Mollusca (snails, slugs, mussels, cockles & clams)

Class Gastropoda (Snails and slugs)

Distribution Found on all Gulf of Maine shores. An introduced European species.

Habitat: Littorina littorea is widely distributed on rocky coasts, in all except the most
exposed areas, from the upper shore into the sublittoral. In sheltered conditions they can
also be found in sandy or muddy habitats such as estuaries and mud-flats. The species is
fairly tolerant of brackish water.

DescriptionThis the largest Fundy periwinkle, with the shell reaching a maximum height
of 52 mm. The shell is sharply conical with a pointed apex and surface sculpturing. The
spiral ridges which are marked in young animals tend to become obscured in older
individuals, giving the shell a smooth appearance. The shell colour ranges from
greyblack-brown-red but is generally black or dark grey-brown, often lighter towards the
apex, and is usually patterned with spiral darker lines. The columella or central axis of
the shell is typically white and the animal is recognizable in its juvenile stages by the
transverse black barring of the tentacles which are rather flat and broad.

Sources: A. MacKay 2017


http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Common Sea Anemone

Phylum: Cnidaria (Hydroids, jellyfish, sea anemones & corals)

Class Hexacorallia (Sea anemones and true corals)

Distribution All Gulf of Maine coasts.

Habitat: Attached to any suitable hard substratum in overhangs, caves and beneath
boulders on the lower shore, and on pier piles, pontoons, and rock faces to at least 100 m.

Description: Metridium senile is an anemone of very variable form. The base is wider
than the column and often irregular. When expanded, the numerous tentacles form a
'plume' above a conspicuous parapet at the top of the smooth column. Large individuals
may be 30 cm high. The colour is plain, commonly white orange or dark green but
brown, grey or occasionally red or yellow varieties occur.

Sources: A. MacKay2017
http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Horse Mussel

Phylum: Mollusca (snails, slugs, mussels, cockles & clams

Class: Pelecypoda (Bivalves

Distribution Found in suitable habitat throughout the Gulf of Maine.

Habitat: Occurs partly buried in soft sediments or coarse grounds or attached to hard
substrate, forming clumps or extensive beds or reefs. May be found on the lower shore in
rock pools or in laminarian holdfasts but more common subtidally to about 280 m.

Description The shell is solid, swollen, approximately oblong or irregularly triangular in


shape, with blunt umbones. The shell is dark blue or purple in colour, however the
perisostracum gives adults a glossy yellow or dark brown appearance. In young animals
the shell appears bluish and the periostracum is extended into long, smooth spines. The
shell bears clear growth lines, and a sculpture of fine concentric lines and ridges. The
inside of the shell is white, with a wide pallial line, a large anterior adductor muscle scar
and small posterior adductor muscle scar. Adults are usually more than 10cm in length,
although very large specimens may reach up to 22cm.

Sources: A. MacKay 2017


http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Sea Grapes

Phylum: Chordata (Chordates - sea squirts, fish, whales)

Class: Ascidiacea (Sea squirts)

Distribution Distributed throughout the Gulf of Maine.

Habitat: Attached to bedrock, boulders, stones and shells in the littoral and sublittoral to
depths of 90 m. Molgula manhattensis is found especially in ports and harbours.

Description: A rounded solitary ascidian about 1-3 cm across that often occurs in dense
clusters. The colour is grey or greenish-blue and the test is covered with fibrils that may
or may not be attached with sand grains, shell fragments etc.

Sources: A. MacKay 2017


http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Blue Mussel

Phylum: Mollusca (snails, slugs, mussels, cockles & clams)

Class Pelecypoda (Bivalves)

Distribution Very common everywhere in the Bay of Fundy, dominating the intertidal
area in some localities.

Habitat: Occurs from the mid intertidal to the shallow subtidal attached by fibrous
byssus threads to suitable substrata. Found on the rocky shores of open coasts attached to
the rock surface and in crevices, and on rocks and piers in sheltered harbours and
estuaries, often occurring as dense masses on mud and sandy bottom.

Description: The shell is inequilateral and roughly triangular in outline, however, shell
shape varies considerably with environmental conditions. Shell smooth with a sculpturing
of concentric lines but no radiating ribs. The ligament is inconspicuous. The shell colour
varies, usually purple or blue but sometimes brown. Length varies, specimens usually
ranging from 5 -10 cm although some populations never attain more than 2-3 cm, and the
largest specimens may reach 15 -20 cm.

Sources: A. MacKay 2017


http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Clam Worm

Phylum: Annelida (segmented worms)

Class: Polychaeta

Distribution Very common in mud flats everywhere in the Gulf of Maine.

Habitat: Occurs from the mid intertidal to the shallow subtidal in mud flats and sandy
mud.

Description: The "clam worm" is commonly sold as bait. Nereis can reach large sizes,
over 15 inches. They are common estuarine dwellers and live in tubes beneath the
substrate surface. They are predators and feed on a wide variety of invertebrates as well
as scavenge dead animals. This species is common from Long Island Sound to Labrador
and measures up to 30+cm in length and 1 cm in width.

Sources: A. MacKay 2017


http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Obelia

Phylum: Cnidaria (Hydroids, jellyfish, sea anemones & corals )

Class Leptolida

Distribution Common throughout the Gulf of Maine.

Habitat: Occurs growing on algae and hard substrata in tide pools and the subtidal area.
Common on algae and mussels found growing on wharves, pilings, rope, pontoons and
other man-made structures.

Description: A long, flexible hydroid colony with a prominent main stem and branches.
Usually up to 20 cm in length but may reach 35 c. Side branches of uniform length but
shorter distally giving the colony a tapering outline. Main stem is long, dark and unforked
but may become forked in older colonies. The main stem is reddish brown in colour,
becoming dark brown to black with age. The segments of the stem, the internodes, are
nearly straight, or slightly curved and perfectly tubular. Side branches usually divide into
two just after the origin, occasionally into three, with subsequent branches arranged in a
zigzag. In young branches the point where the internodes meet, the nodes, are dark,
giving a characteristic alternating light and dark pattern. Side branches are usually lighter
in colour than the main stem, and decrease in length along the length of the colony. The
reproductive polyps (gonothecae) are elongate and flask shaped, ca 700-1050 m in
length, and release medusae in spring.

Sources: A. MacKay 2017


http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Rough-Mantled Nudibranch

Phylum: Mollusca (snails, slugs, mussels, cockles & clams)

Class: Gastropoda Snails and slugs)

Distribution Recorded from the outer Bay of Fundy.

Habitat: Onchidoris bilamellata can be found in the intertidal and shallow sublittoral, to
a depth of 20 m.

Description: Onchidoris bilamellata can grow to 4 cm in length and are usually white
with a brown pattern on the mantle. However immature specimens and the occasional
adult may be completely white in colour. It bears many (usually white) club shaped
projections (tubercles) on its mantle and has two ringed sensory tentacles on its head. The
numerous (up to 29) retractile gills are speckled brown around the edges and arranged in
a horseshoe shape. The head extends to form an oral veil which lacks tentacles. The
spawn is in the shape of a flattered coil attached to the substratum by one edge and
contains many thousand eggs.

Sources: A. MacKay 2017


http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Quahog or Hard-shelled Clam

Phylum: Mollusca (snails, slugs, mussels, cockles & clams)

Class: Pelecypoda

Distribution This species has a limited distribution in the Gulf of Maine, but beds are
known from deeper water and shells may often be found intertidally.

Habitat: Found buried in muddy sediment on the lower shore and shallow sublittoral and
in bays and estuaries. Prefers sandy environments to depths of 15 m.

Description: Mercenaria mercenaria has a thick shell, roughly triangular in shape


overall, light brown to grey in colour with a violet border and often with varying
concentric bands on the shell . These concentric bands are conspicuous and are closely
spaced around the margins but more widely spaced around the umbo. The inner shell
surface is shiny with a purplish-blue tinge around the muscle scars. The sculpture of the
shell consists of thin concentric ridges that are sharp and raised in early growth stages but
worn away in older shells. It can grow up to 12 cm in length. The beak extends well
beyond the the main shell. The pallial line is short and triangular with a finely rippled
inner margin. Each valve has three conspicuous teeth. The internal anatomy is distinctive.
The exhalent and inhalent siphons are joined with a fringe of tentacles around the
inhalent siphon. The siphons are yellowish or brownish orange at the ends and often
streaked with dark brown or opaque white. The foot is large and white in colour The
native American Indians utilised the shell as 'wampum' for use as currency, hence its
scientific name.

Sources: A. MacKay 2017


http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Hard Tube Worm

Phylum: Annelida (Segmented worms

Class: Polychaeta

Distribution Common on some rocky shore.

Habitat: Spirorbis spirorbis particularly favours the fronds of Fucus in the shallow
sublittoral and intertidal area, but also occurs on other algae such as laminaria and, more
rarely, on stones.

DescriptionThe body of Spirorbis spirorbis is often no more than a few mm in length


and orange-red in colour. It is permanently encased in a characteristic smooth, white,
evenly coiled tube, 3-4 mm in diameter. The tube is sinistral (coils to the left) with a
small, peripheral flange

Sources: A. MacKay 2017


http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
Green Sea Urchin

Phylum: Echinodermata

Class: Echinoidea (Sea urchins, heart urchins and sand dollars)

Distribution: Occurs on suitable bottom throughout the Gulf of Maine. Extremely


abundant in some areas.

Habitat: Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis is found on the lower shore and infralittoral


fringe down to 1200 m on rocky grounds browsing on algae.

Description: Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis grows up to 8cm in diameter with a low


flat profile. Skeletal plates are greenish-brown with numerous reddish, greenish, or even
violet spines that are usually white tipped.

Sources: A. MacKay 2017


http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index.htm
Gosner, K.L. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. Houghton Mifflin
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