Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory
The Smithsonian Marine Station is located on the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), a 156-mile estuary that is home to one of the most diverse assemblages of estuarine plants and animals in the United States. In 1997, we became the depository for the Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory - an extensive taxonomic listing of the protists, plants and animals that occur in the local lagoonal system. Since that time, we have greatly expanded the species inventory and will continue to do so with a goal of promoting public awareness and the need for stewardship of the IRL as an invaluable marine resource.
The Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory has proven to be of increasing use to students, the public and scientific community, and we encourage you to explore this dynamic, ever-growing online database.
Field Guide to the Indian River Lagoon
If you need quick information about some of the more common species that inhabit the Indian River Lagoon, use our Field Guide to the Indian River Lagoon.
The Species pages of the Field Guide contain descriptions, identifying photos, habitat, and range information. Many Species pages also have links to the more detailed information posted in the Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory.
Local Environmental Data
*Current Water and Weather Data
Webcams Views of Activity in our Ecosystems Exhibit!
We have placed underwater webcams in two of our five ecosystem aquaria at the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit and a webcam on a microscope in our support laboratory so that you can watch the interactions among those marine plants and animals.
Mac Users, if you have problems viewing these videos, please download and install Flip4Mac and then click the Direct Link below the video window.
Here's What's Happening in Our Coral Reef Ecosystem Tank
Between 10pm and 2am, we light the the coral reef ecosystem tank with red lights; it's a great time to check out nocturnal reef life like brittle stars, secretive fishes, and worms!
Here's what's happening in Our Seagrass Tank
Here's What's Under Our Microscope (in operation 10AM - 4PM only)
This colorful umbrella coral is native to the Indo-Pacific region near Australia and Indonesia. The scientific name for this soft coral is Xenia (pronounced zee-nee-a), which is Greek for hospitality, because the pulsing motion resembles many hands waving hello! The individual coral animals, called polyps, “wave” for gas exchange, or breathing.
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