Friday, August 28, 2015


The latest (8/28/15) Sea Star Wasting survey on the south side of the breakwater at S. Alki resulted in disappointing findings.  In total 32 Purple Stars were seen with 11 showing signs of SSWD.  This is a large increase in % and number of stars with SSWD from earlier this summer.  The reduction in total number counted has gone from 95 to the present 32.  These missing stars may have migrated elsewhere, or may have died from SSWD and been washed away.  It's also remotely possible they could be hiding deep inside the breakwater, but I doubt it.  The increase in diseased stars makes it more likely that the missing stars died and washed away, but that is impossible to know.
On a side note:  I counted 44 Keyhole Limpets on the south side of the breakwater.  Prior to SSWD I would be happy to find 6 or so on the breakwater.  So I'm guessing the lack of predatory stars has made life easier for the limpets and they have responded accordingly.....or they may just have come out from hiding deep inside the breakwater....which I doubt.

Keyhole Limpet

Purple Star with SSWD