Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 20 May 2012 22:30
I went rock pooling again this evening with the gang after work and it was amazing! Four species of fish, two of them new to me. Perhaps the most bizarre, wonderful, ugly, whatever you wanna call it is this Long-spined Sea Scorpion Taurulus bubalis. I have seen the Fatherlasher before on Anglesey which looks similar to this but this one was new to me. The long spine on the gill covers and the short tentacle at the corner of the mouth are clinchers. I only caught one of these.
I caught two of these Corkwing Wrasse Crenilabrus melops (again I have seen it on Anglesey). The black spot in front of the tail fin is characteristic.
The joint most abundant fish went to the Five-bearded Rockling Ciliata mustela, another species I've seen years ago on Anglesey! We caught three of these.
I've saved the best until last though. I have never seen anything like these little fish. I caught three and realised quite quickly it was one of the species whose fins have evolved into a sucker. It actually sucked on to my finger nail! There were two species of clingfish in the book we took into the field but neither of them looked right for it. There were two more in my key to shore fishes when I got home that looked more like it though. I think it is going to be the Small-headed Clingfish Apletodon dentatus but I'm not sure. I can't believe this is just down the road from me! Cool, hey?!