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     El Niņo, or more accurately, El Niņo - Southern Oscillation (ENSO), creates above average water temperatures along the west coast of North America.  This is particularly noticeable in the Pacific Northwest.  Some sea life is swept north along the coast with these warm water currents and we see species which are normally only found in Mexico and California suddenly showing up in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.
     This page is dedicated to documenting sightings of species which are only found to the north during these warming events and are not seen in those locations at any other time.  Opisthobranchs, mainly the nudibranchs, are some of the most noticeable of these occurrences and our data is predominantly composed of these species.  We start with the most recent very strong El Niņo, but will add previous El Niņo events as we accumulate the older data.
     We welcome contributions of other sightings.  Please include location details, date, and a photo if possible.

2015-2016 El Niņo - rated very strong 





Flabellina iodinea (Cooper, 1862)
Spanish Shawl
typically range from Baja California, Mexico to central California
          most northern record - Barkley Sound, BC (at least 1970)

Jan 20, 2015, Jeff Goddard & team, Scott Creek, CA (approx. 37.04N), 1 observed 1
May 18, 2015, Jeff Goddard & team, Hazard Canyon Reef, CA (35.2899, -120.8845), 1 observed 1
May 15, 2015, by May specimens found in Bodega Bay, Coleman Beach and Trinidad, CA (ranging from approx. 38.33N to 41.05) 1
July 4, 2015, Spencer Dybdahl Riffle, Trinidad, CA (approx. 41.05N), 23 observed in tidepools 1 
Aug 14, 2015, Karin Fletcher,diving at Slant Rock, off Cape Flattery, WA (48.3920, -124.6966), 2 observed, subtidal,
           photo - shown above, photo 2

Aug 15, 2015, Karin Fletcher, diving at Mushroom Rock, off Cape Flattery, WA (48.3893, -124.7110), 1 observed, subtidal, photo
Aug 16, 2015, Karin Fletcher, diving at Slant Rock, off Cape Flattery, WA (48.3920, -124.6966), 2 observed, subtidal, photo 1, 2
Aug 19, 2015, Doug Miller, Tatoosh Island-South, WA (48.3900, -124.7375), 2 observed, subtidal, photo
Aug 20, 2015, Doug Miller, Box Canyon, off Cape Flattery, WA (48.3908, -124.7150, 1 observed, subtidal, photo
Aug 21, 2015, Doug Miller, Steve's Caves, off Cape Flattery, WA (48.3853, -124.7218), at least1 observed, subtidal, photo
Aug 21, 2015, Greg Jensen, Steve's Caves, off Cape Flattery, WA (48.3853, -124.7218), at least 1 observed, subtidal, photo
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Aug 2016, off Cape Flattery, WA, at least 1 observed



 


Flabellina iodinea
Cape Flattery, WA 

 
 





 

 
Acanthodoris rhodoceras Cockerell & Eliot, 1905
Black-Tipped Spiny Dorid

typically range from Gulf of California, Mexico through California
          most northern record - Netarts, OR, 2015

June 17, 2015, Tara Maginnis, Netart's Jetty, Netarts, OR (45.4297, -123.9483), 1 observed in tide pool, northern record - photo shown above 2
Aug, 2015, Nancy Treneman, Hunter's Cove, Cape Sebastian, OR (42.3205, -124.4261), 8 observed over 5 visits 1



Okenia rosacea (MacFarland, 1905)
Hopkin's Rose
typically range from northern Mexico to central California (south of San Francisco)
          most northern record - Gregory Point, OR, 2015
   
Jan 3, 2015, Jackie Sones, Bodega Head, CA (approx. 38.31N), 14 observed 1
Jan 21, 2015, Jeff Goddard & team, Coleman Beach, CA (38.3632N,-123.0708), many observed 1
Feb 16, 2015, Jeff Goddard & team, Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, CA (39.4513, -123.8139), many observed 1
Feb 16, 2015, Spencer Dybdahl Riffle, Patrick's Point State Park, CA (approx. 41.13N), 46 observed 1
Feb 17, 2015, David Anderson, False Klamath Cove, CA (approx. 41.60N), 12 observed 1 
March, 2015, Brenna Green, Luffenholtz Beach, CA (41.0407, -124.1209), 13 observed 1
March, 2015, Brenna Green, Wilson Creek, False Klamath Cove, CA (41.5947, -124.1051), 7 observed 1 
May 7, 2015, Richard Emlet & OIMB class, just south of Sunset Bay, Cape Arago, OR (approx. 43.33N), 1 observed 1
May, June, July 2015, Jeff Goddard & team, Oregon sites - Harris Beach, Lone Ranch, House Rock, Whiskey Creek, Middle Cove - Cape Arago,
     & Gregory Point [northern record] (ranging from 42.0641N to 43.3400N), highest quantity was 21 observed at Whiskey Creek on June 16, 2015 1
July 2, 2015, Spencer Dybdahl Riffle, Patrick's Point
State Park, CA (approx. 41.13N), abundant numbers observed and egg masses  1
July 18, 2015, Jeff Goddard & team, Lone Ranch, OR (42.0997, -124.3493), one specimen was spawning 1   
Aug 28, 2015, Nancy Treneman, North Cove - Cape Arago, OR (43.3094, -124.3986), 1 observed, first record for this location 1  
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June 6, 2016, Jeff Goddard, Tara Maginnis & team, Whiskey Creek, OR (42.2227, -124.3830), 10 observed, intertidal, photo - shown above,
     photo 2, 3, 4, 5

June 7, 2016, Jeff Goddard, Tara Maginnis, Nancy Treneman, & team, Palmer's Point, CA (41.1304, -124.1645), 37 observed, intertidal, photo
 




Okenia rosacea
Whiskey Creek, OR



Acanthodoris rhodoceras
Netarts, OR



Polycera atra MacFarland, 1905
Black Dorid or Sorcerer's Nudibranch
typically range from Gulf of California, Mexico through California
          most northern record - Westport, WA, 1998

May 20, 2015, Tara Maginnis & team, Neptune State Park, OR (44.2631, -124.1108), 1 observed in tide pool, photo - shown above
June 17, 2015, Jeff Goddard & team, Charleston Boat Basin, OR (43.3453, -124.3220), 2 observed 1 

 







Polycera atra
Neptune State Park, OR






Triopha maculata MacFarland, 1905
Spotted Dorid
typically range from the northern edge of Baja California, Mexico to northern California
          most northern record - Port Hardy, BC, 2015

May 18 to July 4, 2015, Jeff Goddard & team, Oregon sites - Chetco Point, Harris Beach, Lone Ranch, House Rock, Whiskey Creek, Cape Blanco,
     all three coves at Cape Arago, & Squaw Island (ranging from 42.0436N to 43.3375N) 1  
Aug 14, 2015, Karin Fletcher, Third Beach Reef, Neah Bay, WA (48.3738, -124.5710), 1 observed, subtidal, photo

Aug 28, 2015, Jeff Goddard, Charleston Boat Basin, OR (
43.3453, -124.3220), 1 observed (6cm length) 1
Sept 13, 2015, Jackie Hildering, Bear Cove, Port Hardy, BC, 3 observed with 2 egg masses at about 10', northern record
Sept 18, 2015, Jackie Hildering, Bear Cove, Port Hardy, BC, 15 observed with 5 egg masses at 10-15',
          photo - shown above, photo
2, 3, eggs
Oct 25, 2015, Jackie Hildering, Bear Cove, Port Hardy, BC, 1 observed at 41'
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Oct 22, 2016, Alexandra Spicer, Bear Cove, Port Hardy, BC, 1 observed at 15', photo







Triopha maculata
Port Hardy, BC


























Doriopsilla fulva (MacFarland, 1905)
typically range from southern California to northern California (Humboldt Co.)
          most northern record - Middle Cove, Cape Arago, OR, 2016

June 16, 2015, Jeff Goddard & team, Whiskey Creek, OR (42.2227, -124.3830), 1 observed 1
Aug 15, 2015, Nancy Treneman,  Lone Ranch, OR (42.0997, -124.3493), 1 observed 1  
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June 5, 2016,
Jeff Goddard, Tara Maginnis, Nancy Treneman, & team, Middle Cove - Cape Arago, OR (43.3026, -124.4007), 3 observed, intertidal,
     northern record, photo - shown above, photo 2
June 6, 2016,
Jeff Goddard, Tara Maginnis, Nancy Treneman, & team, Whiskey Creek, OR (42.2227, -124.3830), 43 observed, intertidal, photo
June 7, 2016,
Jeff Goddard, Nancy Treneman, Spencer Dybdahl Riffle, & team, Palmer's Point, CA (approx. 41.12N), 59 observed, intertidal
  
 


 
          










References (all others are personal communications)
     1Goddard, J.H.R., et al. (2016). "Nudibranch Range Shifts Associated with the 2014 Warm Anomaly in the Northeast Pacific". Bull. Southern
            California Acad. Sci.
pp. 15-40.
      2Maginnis, T. (2016). "Expanded Northern Range of Acanthodoris rhodoceras in Oregon". The Dredgings 56(2):6.
      3Scripps Institution of Oceanography - Zooplankton of the San Diego Region. Last accessed at https://scripps.ucsd.edu/zooplanktonguide/  on
             2016-9-28.

General References
         Behrens DW,. & Hermosilloa A. (2005). Eastern Pacific Nudibranchs. Sea Challengers Natural History Books.
         Lamb A & Hanby BP. (2005). Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest. Harbor Publishing.

Dirona picta
Strawberry Hill, OR

Doriopsilla fulva
Cape Arago, OR


Dirona picta MacFarland, 1905  
Colorful Dirona
typically range from northern Mexico to northern California
          most northern record - Barkley Sound, BC, 2016 ??

June 17, 2015, Jeff Goddard & team, Cape Blanco, OR (42.8401, -124. 5634), 1 observed 1
June 17, 2015, 
Jeff Goddard & team, Charleston Boat Basin, OR (43.3453, -124.3220), 1 observed 1
July 1, 2015, Tara Maginnis, Strawberry Hill, OR (approx. 44.25N), 2 observed, intertidal, photo - shown above, photo 2 
Aug 1, 2015, Jeff Goddard & team, 5-Mile Point, OR (43.2199, -124.4003), 1 observed 1
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summer 2016, BMSC students, Barkley Sound, BC, northern record - (still confirming)











This page last revised: 11-4-2016
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Click on photos to enlarge. 

El Niņo Event Range Shifts

of Marine Life on the West Coast of North America






















Leucothea pulchra Matsumoto, 1988
Spotted Comb Jelly or Warty Comb Jelly
typically range from Gulf of California, Mexico to central California 3
          most northern record - Browning Passage, BC, 1983

Sep 25 - 29, 2015, Andy Lamb, Barkley Sound, BC (vicinity of Sechart Channel, approx. 48.9N), a few observed at multiple dive sites, subtidal
Oct 26 - 30, 2015, Andy Lamb, Browning Passage, BC (approx. 50.84N), a few observed at multiple dive sites, subtidal
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June 22, 2016, Andy Lamb, Howe Sound, BC (49.3853, -123.2620), 1 observed, subtidal




 






































 

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