BAUE Field Guide

Dec 17th 2008

Using This Guide
Online Marine Life Resources

BAUE Field Guide


Welcome to the BAUE Field Guide. This section of our website is an ongoing attempt to photographically document the marine life of Central California which might likely be encountered by SCUBA divers in this region. Included in this section are pictures of several hundred species of plants and animals. Nearly all of the pictures were taken in the Big Sur, Carmel and Monterey areas. A few were taken elsewhere but all of the species in the gallery have been seen by us in Central California.

Using This Guide:

This guide is not intended as a replacement for traditional field guides. Rather it is best viewed as a supplement. Professionally written field guides are more carefully edited and crosschecked than we're likely to manage in our constantly changing online gallery. We strive for accuracy but when in doubt it's best to rely on more formal works. Further, printed guides have a wealth of information on habitats, range, behavior and biology which we can't begin to duplicate here. What we can offer is a large selection of images of animals at different ages and with different color patterns. Printed works are limited in the amount of space they can devote to each species and many species can be quite variable in appearance.

One way to use this guide is to start by looking here for species that are similar to the individual you are trying to identify and then confirm the ID with a more formal work. Another would be to use our gallery as confirmation of an ID if the picture in the ID book didn't quite look like your example.

The Bibliography section below has a list of publications we have found useful for identifying marine organisms in Central California.


The BAUE Field Guide is somewhat informally organized to make it easier to use by the general public. As such we do not have a strict Linnean structure to the gallery. Instead we've divided it into broad categories of similar looking species. This way it's possible to scan a section of the gallery for candidate species without having to know in advance where to look.


If you discover any errors or questionable IDs in the Field Guide or if you merely have questions or comments please feel free to post in the BAUE Forum.


Coastal Fish Identification
California to Alaska (2nd Edition)
by Paul Humann & Ned DeLoach

Pacific Coast Inshore Fishes
(4th Edition - Completely Revised)
by Daniel W. Gotshall

The Rockfishes of the Northeast Pacific
by Milton S. Love, Mary Yoklavich and Lyman Thorsteinson

Probably More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast
by Milton Love

A Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes : North America
by William N. Eschmeyer, Earl S. Herald, Howard E. Hammann

Coastal Fishes of the Pacific Northwest
by Andy Lamb & Phil Edgell

Eastern Pacific Nudibranchs
A guide to the Opisthobranchs from Alaska to Central America
by David W. Behrens & Alicia Hermosillo

Nudibranch Behavior
by David W. Behrens

Guide To Marine Invertebrates
Alaska to Baja California 2nd Edition (Revised)
by Daniel W. Gotshall

Pacific Coast Crabs and Shrimps
by Gregory C. Jensen

Pacific Coast Pelagic Invertebrates
Alaska to Baja California
by David Wrobel and Claudia Mills

Seaweeds of the Pacific Coast
Common Marine Algae from Alaska to Baja California
by Jennifer Mondragon & Jeff Mondragon

Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest
A Photographic Encyclopedia of Invertebrates, Seaweeds And Selected Fishes
by Andy Lamb and Bernard Hanby

A Living Bay
The Underwater World of Monterey Bay
by Lovell Langstroth and Libby Langstroth

Online Marine Life Resources:

The Sea Slug Forum
The Slug Site
LA Diving Field Guide
Dive Bums Field ID
Point Lobos Field Guide by Ildiko Frank and Ian Sayers
Love Lab Fish Picture Database
Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur Nudibranchs by Marcos Perreau Guimaraes
Jellies Zone
The Littoral Edge by John Yasaki