May 3rd, 2012, La Jolla, San Diego, CA
Harbor or common seal (Phoca vitulina) is the most common and widely distributed seal, They are found in coastal areas of the north Pacific and North Atlantic. Five separate subespecies are recognized, based principally on geographic distribution. The subespecies are: 1. Eastern Atlantic Harbor Seal Phoca vitulina vitulina; 2. Western Atlantic Harbor Seal phoca vitulina concolor; 3. Eastern Pacific Harbor Seal phoca vitulina richardii; 4. Western Pacific Harbor Seal Phoca vitulina stejnegeri; 5. Ungava Seal phoca vitulina mellonae.
There is much variation in the pelage pattern (as you can see it in the photo). Some seals are light tan or silver with scatered dark spots; Others are black with scattered light, incomplete rings. Harbor seals stick to familiar resting spots or haulout sites like the seal colony, like the one on the photo in Casa Beach/ Children's pool in La Jolla, CA
Harbor seal phoca vitulina richardii