There have been thousands and thousands of tiny jellyfish in the marina this week. They seem to come in waves - sometimes the ocean is full of them and other times you can only see a few individuals. Yesterday and today I spent some time on my hands and knees at the edge of the dock (with camera in hand, of course) to take a closer look, and I was surprised to see no fewer than six different species. My cnidaria ID skills are very amateur, so I'm definitely looking for input if anyone knows more than I do about my tentative species identifications.
The most abundant species is the aggregating jelly (Eutonia indicans), shown here against both a dark and a light background:
The next most abundant species, that really seems to come in waves, is the thimble jellyfish (Sarsia spp.):
The only one of these species I have seen before is the cross jelly (Mitrocoma cellularia), which has been abundant in recent summers though completely absent in years prior to that:
Now come the three I'm not so sure of, and which I only saw in very small numbers. I think this might be a water jelly species (Aequorea spp.). It doesn't seem to quite have enough "spokes", but it's the closest I can come with my Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest: A Photographic Encyclopedia of Invertebrates, Seaweeds And Selected Fishes field guide:
This one might be a hanging stomach jelly (Stomotoca atra). If it is, as the name suggests that would be the stomach hanging out of the bell, surrounded by the lips.
Finally, and this is another tentative ID but also another great example of why jellyfish common names are awesome, the closest I can come on this one is the blob-top jelly (Neoturris breviconis):
As with most wildlife viewing efforts, you end up seeing more than your "target" species. While taking such a close look at the water I also found this coonstripe shrimp (Pandalus danae) sitting on this giant plumose anemone (Metridium farcimen):