Stranded 3 – Scourge of the Surf-line

Moon Jelly
Moon Jellies often wash up on sandy beaches on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Often when jellyfish are washed up on the shore at Long Beach they don’t last long. At first glance this stranded Moon Jelly (Aurelia labiata) appears to be forgotten.

Water-line Isopods (Cirolana kincaidi)
Water-line Isopods (Cirolana kincaidi) are active scavengers along the surf-line.

A closer look reveals that some of the beach’s most aggressive scavengers are hard at work dealing with the jelly’s remains. Water-line Isopods (Cirolana kincaidi) commonly follow the line of the tide as it moves up and down the beach, covering anything that is dead and devouring it very efficiently. In fact they are so aggressive that if you stand motionless as the water washes over your feet you may soon be covered with nasty red bites!

Water-line Isopods (Cirolana kincaidi)
Water-line Isopods (Cirolana kincaidi) quickly devour anything dead that has washed up on the beach.

Keep an eye out for these superb scavengers the next time you’re visiting the surf pounded sandy beaches of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. They’re fascinating to watch, at least if you’re safely wearing rubber boots!