Stream or ‘gut’ Low Tide
taller than Saltmeadow Cordgrass with flat, smooth blades grows along the sides of guts (marsh creeks) and in places flooded by the tides able to survive in areas flooded by salt water because they excrete unneeded salt on the leaf margins. Saltmarsh Cordgrass Spartina alterniflora
shorter, wiry-looking grass of the marshes usually found on the higher flats of the marsh flooded only by the high tides nesting area for some of the marsh birds Saltmeadow cordgrassSpartina patens
also known as gall bush common in the higher parts of the marsh near and often mixed in with saltmeadow cordgrass. most of the Atlantic coast small, green, round flowers that appear as heads along a thin stem. Marsh ElderIva frutescens
GroundselBaccharis halimifolia • found along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts southward • light yellow flowers in late summer followed by a display of silver-bristled seeds, thus the alternate name, "silvering".
Marsh Elder's leaves opposite taper to a point at both the top and bottom with teeth along nearly the full length of both edges has small, green, round flowers that appear as heads along a thin stem Groundsel leaves alternate are duck- foot-shaped with several irregular teeth along the upper edges
Human Use and Influences Wildwood, NJ
Saltmarsh Skipper Saltmarsh Mosquito
Birds Black-crowned Night Heron Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow
not dangerous distant relatives of spiders probably descended from the ancient order Eurypterida Horseshoe Crab Limulus polyphemus
feeds on clams, worms and other invertebrates. • place a clam near the mouth in the center of its underside where its legs are attached and grinds and crushes with the burr-like sections of the legs. • the first four of the five pairs of legs are used for walking, while the last pair, located near the gills, have leaf-like flaps that are used for pushing.
small pincers on the last pair are also used for cleaning the gills in the abdomen • males can be distinguished by the first pair of legs which are heavier than those of the female. • spike-like tail (telson) serves as a rudder and a righting device; if it is tipped upside down, it may bend its abdomen at the point where it hinges the main shell (carapace) and dig into the sand with the tail to support itself while it turns over. • two pairs of eyes. • often slipper shells (Crepidula fornicata) attach to the underside of the crab.
Reproduction • peaks at high tide in late May, early June • females come ashore to lay eggs followed by one or more males, sometimes forming a chain • she lays the eggs in pits in the sand (200-300 per pit) near the high-water mark where they are fertilized by the males. • heavily predated by shorebirds in one of the great wildlife viewing spectacles of the east coast