About this Event
The Setting: A small, one-half inch, semi-terrestrial crustacean living in Lake Merritt is one of San Francisco Bay’s biggest mysteries. Beach-hopper amphipods (distantly related to shrimps and crabs) live in a unique but narrow and fragile habitat — the uppermost edges of beaches around the world, and are typically found under decaying seaweed, driftwood, and rocks. Our native beach-hoppers are found both in San Francisco Bay and along outer coast beaches. However, one species of beach-hopper, Bulychaeva enigmatica, is found in only one place in the world — Lake Merritt! Is it a native relict of the Bay Past, or a non-native species from somewhere else in the world? We trace its discovery, the most current thinking about its origins, and how this enigmatic beach hopper may have come to be in Lake Merritt.