Carlton, James T., 2007. The Light and Smith Manual: Intertidal Invertebrates from Central California to Oregon. 4th ed.. Hardback, University of Californa Press. 1001 pages. ISBN-13 978-0-520-23939-5. This book is the 4th edition of Light's Manual (see 3rd edition under Smith and Carlton, 1975 below). The 4th edition is much expanded over the 3rd edition, and includes many more species. The range of coverage is also expanded at least up to the Oregon-Washington border and down to Point Conception, CA. Contains sections from 120 contributors.
Flora, Charles J. and Eugene Fairbanks, 1966. The Sound and the Sea. 455 pp. Contains descriptions, black and white photos, and observations on the natural history of many species which can be found in Puget Sound and the open coast of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Also contains some simple keys to some species. Charles Flora was a professor at Western Washington State College. Eugene Fairbanks was a MD and photographer in Bellingham.
Eugene N., 1987. Marine Invertebrates of the
of Washington Press, Seattle, WA. 511 pp.
This book is the primary reference for keying invertebrates in the Pacific Northwest. Covers most invertebrate groups. An updated paperback edition ISBN 0-295-97562-8 was published in 1996.
I. and James T. Carlton, 1975. Light's
Invertebrates of the Central California Coast. 3rd.
pp. ISBN 0-520-02113-4
This book is the primary marine invert keying reference for central and southern California. Sponsored by Hopkins Marine Lab. Note: This key now has a new, 4th edition. See Carlton, 2007 above.
Marjorie and Virginia
Pill, 1972. Starfish: Guides to
identification & methods
of preserving. Pacific coast, Alaska, Mexico,
Robinson Publishing Co. 104 pp. This older, small paperback
descriptions and color photos of many species of seastars found along
coast. For each one the authors describe where it can be
discuss the most appropriate ways of preserving it without losing the
as usually happens. Judging from their color photos of mostly
specimens, I would say their preservation techniques are clearly
to most I have seen. You really must see most seastars in
however, in order to really appreciate their color and
The seastars photographed are from the Furlong collection in Hoodsport,
Lamb, Andy and Bernard P. Hanby, 2005. Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest. A Photographic Encyclopedia of Invertebrates, Seaweeds and Selected Fishes. 398 pp. Harbour Publishing. ISBN 1-55017-361-8. This excellent and beautiful book, produced in British Columbia, contains hundreds of excellent pictures and brief descriptions of species found in our area.
MacGinitie, G.E. and Nettie MacGinitie, 1949. Natural History of Marine Animals. This classic work by two well-known workers in the field contains a wealth of interesting information. The earlier chapters are organized by general topics, then later chapters cover individual groups. 473 pp.
McConnaughey, Bayard H. and Evelyn McConnaughey, 1986. Pacific Coast. The Audubon Society Nature Guides. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. Paperback. 633 pages. This field guide contains color photographs and basic descriptions of many of the most common algae, invertebrate, fish, bird, and mammal species found along the U.S. Pacific coast.
H., Donald P. Abbot, and Eugene C. Haderlie, 1980, 1992.
Invertebrates of California. Stanford University Press,
CA. 690 pp., many color illustrations.
ISBN 0-8047-1045-7 This thick book has many excellent pictures and descriptions of intertidal species found in California. Many can also be found subtidally or in Washington as well.
Niesen, 1994. Beachcomber's Guide to California marine Life. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, TX. 192 pp. ISBN 0-88415-075-5. This large paperback covers marine invertebrates, fish, and mammals commonly found between San Francisco and San Diego. Contains many interesting notes on natural history and relationships, along with black-and-white photos and drawings. Sections are arranged by habitat or by animal group.
Niesen, 1997. Beachcomber's Guide to Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, TX. 160 pp. ISBN 0-88415-132-8. This large paperback covers marine invertebrates, fish, and mammals commonly found between San Francisco and Vancouver Island, Canada. Contains many interesting notes on natural history and relationships, along with black-and-white photos and drawings. Sections are arranged by habitat or by animal group.
O'Clair, Rita M., O'Clair, Charles E., 1998. Southeast Alaska's Rocky Shores. Plant Press, AK. 561 pp, black and white illustrations. ISBN 0-9664245-0-6. A large book packed with helpful information about the natural history of intertidal species of Alaska. This is an excellent reference.
Reish, Donald J., 1972. Marine Life of Southern California. California State University, Long Beach. LC# 70-190591
Ricketts, Edward F., Jack Calvin, and Joel W. Hedgpeth (Revised by David W. Phillips), 1985. Between Pacific Tides. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA. Hardbound, 652 pp. ISBN 0-8047-1229-8. This thick classic book describes many details of the natural history of many intertidal species, based on years of observations by Ed Ricketts and others in Monterey Bay, CA. Sections are arranged by habitat.
Sept, J. Duane, 1999. The Beachcomber's Guide to Seashore Life in the Pacific Northwest. Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park, BC, Canada. Paperback, 235 pp. ISBN 1-55017-204-2. This small paperback has color photographs and brief descriptions of many seaweeds, invertebrates, and fishes commonly encountered in the Pacific Northwest. Sections are arranged by type of animal. Also has a section on "best beachcombing sites in the Pacific Northwest", covering Oregon to British Columbia.
1988. California Marine Life: An
Identification and Field
Guide to Common Marine Species of the California Coast.
Port Hueneme, CA Paperback, 255 pp. ISBN
This layman's guide to the coast is organized taxonomically within
habitats, including many subtidal habitats. Has line drawings
descriptions of typical species, plus color photos of some.
Chace, Fenner A., 1986. The Caridean Shrimps (Crustacea: Decapoda) of the Albatross Philippine Expedition, 1907-1910, Part 4: Families Oplophoridae and Nematocarcinidae. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 432. 82 pp. Contains keys and some technical descriptions of deepwater shrimp of families Oplophoridae and Nematocarcinidae.
Coffin, Harold W., 1952. Crabs of Puget Sound, Washington. Masters Thesis, Walla Walla College. 106 pp. Contains keys and descriptions to 51 species found in the Salish Sea area, which includes nearly all the common crab species. Click here for a pdf of this reference
Fitch, John E., 1953. Common marine bivalves of California. State of California Department of Fish and Game, Marine Fisheries Branch Fish Bulletin No. 90. 102 pp. Includes a key, a list of common and scientific names, and a photograph and brief description of many of the species found. Since this is an old reference, many of the names are out of date.
Griffith, Lela M., 1967. The intertidal univalves of British Columbia. British Columbia Provincial Museum Handbook No. 26. Paperback, 101 pp. This small handbook has a key to families of shelled gastropods, then a description of species to be found within each family. Each species has a description along with an illustration.
Hart, Josephine F.L., 1982. Crabs and their relatives of British Columbia. British Columbia Provincial Museum Handbook 40. Paperback. 267 pages. This small paperback contains keys and individual descriptions and drawings of 95 species of true crabs, hermit crabs, other anomurans, mud and ghost shrimp (but not shrimp or prawns) found off British Columbia. An introduction gives an extensive discussion of the general biology and anatomy of crabs and other similar crustaceans, including topics such as sexual dimorphism, larvae, and parasites. A variety of drawings and tables are included. The general characteristics of each of the families included in the book are discussed. Keys to the families of each section (Thalassinidea, Anomura, Brachyrua) are included but one needs to know beforehand which section the animal is in. Keys are also included for the members of each family. A useful key for the serious student wanting to identify crabs.
Light, William J., 1978. Spionidae (Polychaeta, Annelida). From the Invertebrates of the San Francisco Bay Estuary System. Welton L. Lee, Editor (California Academy of Sciences). Hardbound, 211 pages. ISBN 0-910286-58-2. After a general introduction and a pictorial glossary, there is a pictorial key to the genera of Spionidae found in San Francisco Bay then dichotomous and tabular keys to the genera found in California. Keys are then included for the different genera, along with descriptions of the species found within the genera.
Quayle, D.B., 1973. The intertidal bivalves of British Columbia. British Columbia Provincial Museum Handbook No. 17. Paperback, 104 pp. This small handbook has a key to families of local bivalves, then a description of species to be found within each family. Each species has a description along with an illustration.
Wicksten, Mary K., 2009. Decapod Crustacea of the Californian and Oregonian Zoogeographic Provinces. UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/7sk92dz 418 pages. Published online only. This excellent key covers decapods (crustaceans such as crabs, shrimp, spiny lobsters, hermit crabs, and crayfish) from shallow and deep water from Puget Sound south to the Pacific coast of Baja California. Includes many subkeys, drawings, and photos. No glossary, table of contents, or index. This is the place to go for the most up-to-date key for decapods. Mary Wicksten plans to publish an updated version of this key soon.
Behrens, David W., 1991. Pacific Coast Nudibranchs, 2nd ed. Sea Challengers, Monterey, CA. ISBN 0-930118-17-0. Paperback, 107 pp. This excellent paperback has color photos and brief descriptions of the nudibranchs, anaspideans, notaspideans,, sacoglossans, and cephalaspideans found along the Pacific coast, some of which possess a shell. Includes a glossary with diagrams, and a pictorial key to opisthobranch suborders.
Behrens, David W. and Alicia Hermosillo, 2005. Eastern Pacific Nudibranchs: A guide to the opisthobranchs from Alaska to Central America. Sea Challengers, 4 Sommerset Rise, Monterey, CA, 93940. 137 pp. This book is an expansion of Behrens 1991 book on Pacific Coast nudibranchs, including more photographers and a greater geographic range. The photos in this book seem to be different from those in the earlier book so the two can be complimentary to each other.
Birstein, Ya.A, 1963. Deep water isopods (Crustacea. Isopoda) of the north-western part of the Pacific Ocean. Translated from Russian and published for the Smithsonian Institution and National Science Foundation by the Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre, New Delhi, 1973. TT 67-59075. Paperback. 316 pages. Has a list of about 86 deepwater species found, and a description and drawings of each.
Butler, T.H., 1980. Shrimps of the Pacific Coast of Canada. Bulletin 202, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Ottawa, Canada. This 280 page paperback book contains detailed taxonomic descriptions, drawings, and some keys of the shrimp found along Canada's Pacific coast. An excellent resource for a scientist or serious student of shrimp.
Coffin, Harold G., 1952. Crabs of Puget Sound, Washington. This 106-page Master's thesis is one of the early theses completed at the (then) Walla Walla College biological station, even before the laboratory was at Rosario Beach. The thesis contains keys and descriptions of 51 species of brachyuran and anomuran crabs found in Puget Sound, which includes nearly all the species which were not rare in 1947-1951. Photos or drawing are included for each species, and inportant differences between the sexes are noted. Includes a glossary. A pdf of this thesis can be obtained by clicking here.
Harbo, Rick M., 1997. Shells and Shellfish of the Pacific Northwest: A Field Guide. Harbour Publishing, Madeira, BC. Canada. ISBN 1-55017-146-1. Paperback, 271 pp. The front of this book has color photos and brief descriptions of mollusks and brachiopods found in the northwest. The latter part of the book has somewhat more detailed descriptions keyed to the color photos. Organized taxonomically.
Jensen, Gregory C., 1995. Pacific Coast Crabs and Shrimps. Sea Challengers, Monterey, CA. 87 pp. ISBN 0-930118-20-0. This paperback contains excellent pictures and brief descriptions of many crabs and shrimp from along the Pacific coast. Sections are arranged by animal group. Includes a short glossary.
Lambert, Philip, 1997. Sea Cucumbers of British Columbia, Southeast Alaska, and Puget Sound. Royal British Columbia Museum Handbook. UBC Press, Vancouver, BC. ISSN 1188-5114. Paperback, 166 pages. This excellent paperback contains a key and descriptions to sea cucumbers of our area. The most authoritative general reference to sea cucumbers of our area.
Lambert, Philip, 2000. Sea Stars of British Columbia, Southeast Alaska, and Puget Sound. Royal British Columbia Museum Handbook. UBC Press, Vancouver, BC. ISSN 1188-5114. Paperback, 186 pages. This excellent paperback contains a key to families, a checklist of local species, and descriptions of sea star species in our area arranged by families. Includes a section of color photographs, a glossary, and pertinent references. I would consider this the most authoritative and up-to-date handbook for seastars in our area.
Lambert, Philip and William C. Austin, 2007. Brittle Stars, Sea Urchins, and Feather Stars of British Columbia, Southeast Alaska and Puget Sound. Royal British Columbia Museum Handbook. Published by Royal British Columbia Museum, 675 Belleville Street, Victoria, BC V8W 9W2 CANADA. ISBN 978-07726-5618-6. Paperback, 150 pp. This is the best available reference on local Ophiuroid, Echinoid, and Crinoid echinoderms. Contains checklists, keys, and detailed descriptions of all brittle stars, urchins, sand dollars, and feather stars found in this area at depths less than 200 m. Many have color photographs.
McDonald, Gary R. and James W. Nybakken, 1980. Guide to the Nudibranchs of California. American Malacologists, Inc. Paperback (large page size), 72 pp. ISBN 0-915826-08-9. Contains photos and descriptions of many nudibranchs, primarily from California but also including most species from Alaska to Oregon. Also includes a key and glossary.
Morris, Percy A., 1966. Pacific Coast Shells. Peterson Field Guide. 297 pp, paperback. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. ISBN 0-395-08029-0. Brief descriptions and mostly black-and-white photos of hundreds of shells found on the North American Pacific coast.
Rice, Tom, 1973. Marine Shells of the Pacific Coast. Erco, Inc., Tacoma, WA. 102 pp. This little paperback book contains color photos and descriptions of chitons, shelled gastropods, bivalves, and brachiopods in the Pacific Northwest. The map suggests that the coverage is from Alaska to Washington. Tom Rice was editor of "Sea and Shore" magazine.
White, James Seeley, 1976. Seashells of the Pacific Northwest. Binford and Mort, Portland, OR. 127 pp. This small paperback book contains black and white and color photos and descriptions of chitons, snails, and clams from the Pacific Northwest. The map suggests that the coverage is of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Includes some deepliving species.
and Claudia Mills, 1998. Pacific Coast Pelagic Invertebrates.
Challengers and Monterey Bay Publications.
Paperback, 108 pp.
ISBN 0-930118-2305. This small paperback is an excellent
an expert in the field (Claudia Mills) on pelagic gelatinous
found in our area. Color photos and brief descriptions of
hundred species, arranged by animal group. Also includes a
and an interesting section explaining the meaning of the scientific
of many of the species.
Stachowitsch, Michael, 1992. The Invertebrates: An Illustrated Glossary. Wiley-Liss, New York, NY. 676 pp.
Barnes, Robert D., 1980. Invertebrate Zoology, 4th edition. Saunders College Publishing, Philadelphia. Hardbound, 1089 pages. ISBN 0-03-056747-5. This detailed textbook on invertebrate zoology was a major standard for many years and went through many editions. There are more recent editions of this classic work. I often use this edition because it has more detailed information in some sections than later editions do.
Brusca, Richard C. and Gary J. Brusca, 1990. Invertebrates. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA. Hardbound. 922 pages. This authoritative textbook on invertebrate zoology is one of the present standard references. Second edition published 2003 by Simauer (936 pages, ISBN 0-87893-097-3).
W. and Davis, George E., 2001. An Updated
Classification of the
Recent Crustacea. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
This book contains the most recent classification for Class Crustacea.
Shanks, Alan L. (ed.), 2001. An identification guide to the larval marine invertebrates of the Pacific Northwest. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, OR. Hardbound, 314 pp. ISBN 0-87071-531-3. Includes chapters on many phyla of invertebrates, along with drawings of larvae and lists of species found in this area. Includes keys to larvae of some complex groups such as the polychaetes and gastropods.
Smith, DeBoyd L. and Kevin B. Johnson, 1996. A guide to marine coastal plankton and marine invertebrate larvae, 2nd ed. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., Dubuque, Iowa. ISBN 0-7872-2113-9. Paperback, 221 pages. A good reference on plankton, with a quick reference section showing drawings of the various groups, then more detailed sections on the different groups with more drawings and brief discussion.
Strathman, Megumi F., 1987. Reproduction and development of marine invertebrates of the Northern Pacific Coast. University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA. Hardbound, 670 pages. Describes observations on culture, reproduction, and development of many different species of marine invertebrates.
Williams, A.B., Lawrence G. Abele, Darryl L. Felder, Horton H. Hobbs, Jr., Raymond B. Manning, Patsy A. McLaughlin, and Isabel Perez Farfante, 1989. Common and Scientific Names of Aquatic Invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Decapod Crustaceans. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 17. ISBN 0-913235-49-0. Paperback. 77 pages. After a brief introduction, this book lists American decapods in taxonomic order, with the region they are found (Atlantic, Pacific, freshwater), and suggested common names to use.
Wye, Kenneth R., 2000. The Encyclopedia of Shells. Chartwell Books, Inc., Edison, NJ. Hardbound, 287 pages. This small encyclopedic book has color photos and brief descriptions of a wide variety of mollusk shells, arranged by taxonomic group. Targeted mostly at shell collectors, so has representative, showy shells from most groups. Includes an very brief glossary and a separate index to common and to scientific names.
Young, Craig M. (editor), 2002. Atlas of Marine Invertebrate Larvae. Academic Press, New York. Hardbound. 626 pages. ISBN 0-12-773141-5. This excellent reference contains descriptions, photographs, and drawings of representative larvae of the different groups of marine invertebrates.
Page Created by Dave Cowles, 5-2002
Edited by: Melissa McFadden, 08-2002, Kelly Williams, 08-2002; Dave Cowles 2002-2013; Jonathan Cowles 2007
Salish Sea Invertebrates web site provided courtesy of Walla