A hole in the groyne

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday, 7 October 2017 10:15

As Portuguese Men o' War have been creeping there way up the channel (seen in Dorset and even Hampshire I am informed last week) I have been searching the strand line after any easterly winds here in Hove but to no avail. Cornwall and the Scillies have had huge numbers over the last month. Walking along this beach is tedious due to the number of groynes there but one always catches my eye as it has a large hole at the end where water drains out. It's usually inaccessible when I walk by but a couple of days ago it was open and I stepped inside...

...there wasn't much in there accept this chiton. Now I only ever see the same species when rock-pooling in Sussex (Lepidochitona cinerea) so I was very pleased to see an Acnathodchitona, unlike Lepidopchitona, these species have a broad, spongy edge interrupted with little bristly tufts, the armour only covering about a third of the body. I am pretty sure this is Acanthochitona crinita due to the pear-shaped tubercles on the shell and the small size (it was about 3 cm). I have seen Acanthochitona fasciularis which is twice the size when adult and has much smaller, rounder tubercles. I have however only seen these on Jersey (the lower image is this species).

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