Museum open Weds–Mon, Sea Center on Stearns Wharf open daily; both 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

Invertebrates

See our handy guide to critters found in local homes and our Central Coast Butterfly FAQ. Browse the insects and other terrestrial arthropods we’ve identified. Check out local marine invertebrates, particularly bivalve mollusks and intertidal organisms.

“Hi- I live in Carp and always collect sea glass - the other day I came upon an object that has me curious if it is an old piece of pottery. It seems like old clay -- very smooth on one side with a sli...”
Amy, Carpinteria - December 5, 2022

Read the Answer

“Hi there, I recently found 2 shells near the capitola beach. I assumed that they were the same species, but I don't know which. I also don't know how old they are, if they are fossilized, and if they...”
Ani, Fremont, Ca - December 3, 2022

Read the Answer

“Hello there, This afternoon, I noticed this large spider outside on the bench on my porch.  I live in Lompoc, and I have seen quite a few different species of spiders in my garden, but I have never...”
Sara, Northern Lompoc - November 11, 2022

Read the Answer

“Thank you very much again for the recent help with the fungus ID. I now have another request, an entomological one this time. These little ones have been hanging out in the bathroom lately. I though...”
Daryl, Santa Barbara - October 5, 2022

Read the Answer

“What type of moth do you think this might be? It was the length of maybe a pinky finger.”
Kevin, Santa Barbara County - September 22, 2022

Read the Answer

“I wondered if you think this could belong to a Mud Dauber Wasp. It's about 3-4 inches at the widest point. It seemed to get constructed very quickly, but I did not see the insect that built it. As wel...”
Kevin, Santa Barbara - August 24, 2022

Read the Answer

“Hello, I need a little direction as where to go to get some fossil shells identified and dated. The shells are from Platform Heritage (offshore from Gaviota) and 3-4 thousand feet deep in the formati...”
Robert, Gaviota Coast - July 23, 2022

Read the Answer

“Hello Dr. Gimmel, I found this bug on the kitchen counter this morning. It's about 3/16" long. I took this picture with a basic digital microscope.  I've been looking online and trying to identify i...”
Gary, Santa Barbara - July 23, 2022

Read the Answer

“Can you identify this organism found on Butterfly Beach?”
Julie, Montecito, CA - July 6, 2022

Read the Answer

“I wonder if I might trouble you for an insect ID. Is this a Northern Walkingstick? This individual was on the wall of my office building (here at UCSB). You never know what you'll see on the wall of...”
Kevin, UCSB - July 1, 2022

Read the Answer