Some pics from today at Flushing Beach. Above, a pair of Green shore crabs Carcinus maenas, below two Furrowed crabs Xantho hydrophilus. (I probably should have gone for a whole crab series, as I saw several other common species…) Instead I took loads of random photos, of things that were 150 mm to things that were only 5 mm, with varying success. For instance of a Painted Topshell Calliostoma zizyphinum on the invasive Bryozoan Watersipora subatra. Also the underside of the urchin Psammechinus miliaris, showing its mouth (Aristotle’s Lantern). Photobombing top left is the commensal worm Flabelligera affinis (which I noticed as well the last time I took a version of this picture). Bit random but it was fun practicing. It actually is more difficult to take photos abovewater compared to underwater due to the glistening and the awkward position kneeling on wet gravel/rocks. Next time I might try a tripod (ideally remote flash would be used but I do not think I am going to invest in that). Btw, if you are on instagram, I also post pics as @an_bollenessor.
The diversity of crabs here in Cornwall is quite high: it is easy to spot more than five species in just a minute of rock pooling. The Furrowed crab Xantho incisus (or X. hydrophilus) has relatively large claws and can do a lot of posturing when disturbed but it is actually quite docile and never pinches hard:
I have only once encountered the small crab Pirimela denticulata (but I must say I have not been looking particularly hard):
The Broad-clawed porcelain crab Porcellana platycheles is extremely common under rocks. I have added a couple to my aquarium when I started but as they just hide under rocks that wasn’t a very smart idea. Months later when re-arranging a rock I found them again so at least they seem to do well in the aquarium: