The Spectacular Sea Slugs of Sussex!!!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday, 21 March 2019 22:06

Sometimes you go rock-pooling on one of the lowest tides of the year and it pays off. Then there was this evening, it was just off the scale. WOW!!! I can't get over what just happened. I've seen more sea slugs this evening than I have ever seen in my whole life. I believe this is the insanely cool Polycera quadrilineata. Just look at this video and you get an idea of how excited I am. This animal is about 5 mm long, this gives you a flavour of how great this camera is given it's also submerged under sea water.

It's like something from the tropics. I found two rather effortlessly by sweeping sea weed with a pond net. Have some more of this incredible animal.

Wow. WOW! I actually don't know what to say.

How about even more amazing sea slugs?! Evan found this Facelina bostoniensis under the second stone he turned over!!! I was only talking about how I'd like to see this at work today, we didn't see another one. When a Broad-clawed Porcelain Crab crawled over it, the appendages suddenly straightened into narrow points. Wish I had caught that on film.

But it didn't stop there! Evan found this under the FIRST rock he turned, which we now think is Lamellaria perspicua (not Pleurobranchus membranaceus as originally stated). A sea slug like mollusc.

We also saw these sea slugs. Three Goniodoris nodosa (and not the Acanthodoris pilosa that I initially claimed it was - saw that there a few years ago) under one rock with eggs! Sorry I was rushing to get the blog out last night. Thanks for spotting that Evan.

To give some context here tonight, I had not seen ANY of the above four species until tonight. These were abundant, we saw at least four. Berthella plumula.

And Sea Lemon eggs! They are huge!

Other molluscs included: Northern or Arctic Cowrie.

Bearded Mussel.

And a living Variegated Scallop!

Wow. Just wow. It didn't stop there though. I had this Long-legged Spider Crab.

And four fish. Rock Goby was the commonest. Evan found a batch of eggs too.

A single Tompot Blenny.


And one each of Corkwing Wrasse (above) and Ballan Wrasse (below). Only the second time I have seen this species. You can see the difference in the shape of the head. Corkwing is much commoner down here.

That was one of the best days natural history I have ever had, utterly mind blowing. A massive thanks to Evan Jones for turning so many rocks and finding sea slugs so effortlessly.

I'm going back tomorrow evening for what is going to be another extremely low tide!!!

UPDATE: I was so excited I forgot to say where I was. This is at the Pound, Eastbourne, East Sussex.

4 Response to "The Spectacular Sea Slugs of Sussex!!!"

Hilary Melton-Butcher Says:

Incredible Graeme ... wonderful photography and loved seeing the video. Life is quite amazing ... good luck for your visit this evening - cheers Hilary

martinf Says:

Looks amazing. Loved the video commentary.

Graeme Lyons Says:

Thanks for the comments guys!

Becky Says:

Wow amazing I’m local and we spend a lot of time here. Managed to get my 10 year old snorkelling here last year thanks to the wonderful calm weather we had. Glad a found your blog looking forward to learning more about my local area.

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