a very low tide at Castle beach

IMG_7884There were exceptionally low tides this weekend so I was quite stoked to get out and find some new species in what is normally the subtidal. It was raining and even hailing quite a bit but we were on a mission! Fortunately, the sun came out later and my jeans could dry up. Sea urchins are not common in the rock pools that are usually accessible at low tide, but they are quite common a little deeper. The same goes for Sea cucumbers. These are hardly ever pretty but the following species is ugly even in holothurian terms. According to David Fenwick it is a Pawsonia saxicola (I have seen a prettier incarnation before):

IMG_7900I noticed a little gastropod which looked vaguely familiar on a Pawsonia when checking my pictures. I could identify it as a Eulimida species in my old Poppe and Goto ‘European Seashells’ book, which also mentioned that many species in this family parasitize echinoderms so that fitted. David Fenwick’s excellent site Aphotomarine has great pictures of pretty much all species occurring here in the Southwest, including a much better one of this Vitreolina philippi (check). David has also just launched a website dedicated to Stalked jellyfish: stauromedusa which looks amazing.

IMG_7891 - CopyAt the end of the ‘session’ I glanced something red, white and blue; a colour combination that I had seen only on photographs before. It was a single, juvenile Spiny squat lobster Galathea strigosa:

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IMG_8010A lot of usual suspects were found as well of course, here a Cornish sucker Lepadogaster lepadogaster and a Shore rockling Gaidropsarus mediterraneus:

IMG_7925The rockling has a groove in front of its dorsal fin filled with hairlike fin rays that are continuously beating. Finally, not a very good picture but I’ve posted it because this is the longest animal in Britain: the Bootlace worm Lineus longissimus can grow up to 10 meters!

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2 thoughts on “a very low tide at Castle beach

  1. WOW that was some session. From disgustingly ugly to totally colourful beauty 😉 I would have thought its a dogs business 😉 That spiny squat lobster looks just absolutely amazing! Lots of interesting info, thanks for sharing.

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