Snakelocks and shipworms

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday, 14 May 2012 17:37

Shiver me timbers, it was cold on Saltdean sea front this afternoon. I had the afternoon off and went and joined Erin Pettifer and Gerald Legg on a Shore Search survey. Most impressive were a couple of Snakelocks Anemones Anemonia viridis, a species I have not seen for ten years since I lived on Anglesey. Cool looking things. We saw another anemone which was a new one for me, Sagartia troglodytes. This one is also cool and quite common on this part of the coast, the Strawberry Anemone Actinia fragacea.
Here we have two top shells. On the left is the Flat Top Shell Gibbula umbilicalis and on the right the Grey Top Shell Gibbula cineraria. Fairly straight forward these two.
This orange blob, I am reliably informed, is a Breadcrumb Sponge Halichondria panicea. I now have a sponge on my list.
A seaweed tick. The strange looking Sugar Kelp Saccharina latissima. Thanks for holding it up, unidentified human male. The other seaweed in the background is mostly Toothed Wrack Fucus serratus, the dominant plant there.
The rather racistly named Japweed Sargassum muticum, an introduction, is now going by the more acceptable name of Wireweed.
Someone found a dead Garfish Belone belone. I have ticked this as I used to see the fisherman occasionally catch them off the Marina when I was sea watching. A blenny was spotted but butter-fingers here tried to catch it with his hands and it got away. Then someone told me they bite and I lost interest.
And finally, a Great Shipworm Teredo navalis, that Gerald said he had not recorded in this area before. I was amazed to find out that these are actually molluscs. It sure was an odd thing and I'm glad Gerald was able to identify it to species, I wish I had had a closer look at it now though. I had a wicked time, I added five species, ending the day on 3920 species. If you want to get involved, have a look at the Shore Search pages on the Sussex Wildlife Trust's website. As you can tell, I got quite into it and could have stayed there all afternoon, even though I could barely operate my camera, my hands were so cold. I will definitely be doing more of this though!

1 Response to "Snakelocks and shipworms"

Anonymous Says:

Sounds like a great morning out despite the weather. Good finds.

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