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Journals 2009/2010

Daphne Rawlinson
West University Elementary, Houston, Texas

"Sound Localization in Plainfin Midshipman Fish"
Bodega Bay Marine Lab, Bodega Bay, California
July 17 - July 26, 2009
Journal Index:
July 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24
      25 - 26

July 20, 2009
Let the fun begin ... 4:45 a.m. Comes Early

Maria and I were up and ready to go at 4:45 a.m. We had to get up and get to the rocky shoreline because low tide was due a little after 5 a.m. We can only collect fish during low tide because they make their nests under rocks on the shoreline. The nests are only exposed each day for a brief time during the low tide. Today is going to be our toughest day. Low tide is 50 minutes later every day. Maria and I will get to sleep in 50 minutes tomorrow. We are excited!

Maria and I end up with a great souvenir! I found two abalone shells in shallow water while we were collecting Midshipmen Fish at Nick's Cove. I gave one to Maria for her classroom and I kept one for mine.

Maria's Abalone Shell found at Nick's Cove
Daphne's Abalone Shell found at Nick's Cove

Collecting Plainfin Midshipmen Fish. Maria Gomez, ARMADA Master Teacher and Dr. Joe Sisneros

We had a great day collecting:
Females: 13
Males Type I: numerous (I did not receive a final count.)
Males Type II: 7

We were able to identify the gender of the fish based on coloring, size, and vocals. Look at the chart below for characteristics for each Midshipmen Fish.

Gender Characteristics
Female Coloring - golden belly. Females are able to keep their golden belly color because they are not subject to the harsh intertidal zone for extended periods of time like the males. The males spend as much as 30 or more days in the intertidal zone protecting their nest and raising young often depriving themselves of needed nutrients.

Length - Large fish can be as long as 12 inches

Singing Ability - none
Male, Type I Coloring - Grey belly

Length - Large fish can be as long as 12 inches

Singing Ability - ability to sing, hum and grunt
Male, Type II "Sneaker Males" Coloring - grey belly

Length - Approximately 3 - 6" in length

Singing Ability - none. Since type II males do not have the physical ability to sing, they "sneak" fertilization by hiding in a type I male's nests.