When fish have antlers

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday 9 April 2016 07:48

At last! I've finally made contact with Tompot Blenny, my 80th species of fish in the UK. I always wondered if I would be able to recognise them easily and the answer is yes, even when you turn the rocks over, they stand out a mile from the much commoner Shanny. Obviously, the big difference is that they are found much further from the shore (last night was the spring tide of the year). Also, they are slightly reddish (lacking the greenish colour of the Shanny), on average larger, more tiger-striped and variegated, they have a higher dorsal fin and more obviously, two great big weird antennae/antler things sticking out of their heads! We saw six in all, all recognisable without having to catch them. Here are a few more shots.

We also on this Shore Search event: Common Goby, Rock Goby, Butterfish and Shanny. Nice to see some Green Sea Urchins too. However, I spotted a tiny mollusc that might be of note. I'm pretty sure this is the Tortoiseshell Limpet Testudinalia testudinalis which as far as I can tell is meant to be a northern species. I compared it to an immature limpet and it is definitely not that. Anyone have any experience with this species? UPDATE: I think this has to in fact be the White Tortoiseshell Limpet Tectura virginea based on colouration and distribution.

4 Response to "When fish have antlers"

Evan Jones Says:

Have a pic of Tortoiseshell limpet from Eastbourne from the 80's

Evan Jones Says:

I have a pic of a Tortoiseshell Limpet from Eastbourne, 80's However likely not to be testudinalis, there are more than one species. T(A)virginea is more southern in distribution. That is what I thought it was then.This is likely to be the same Acmaea virginea in most books.

Graeme Lyons Says:

Thanks Evav, I'm aware of Tectura virginea but it just doesn't look right. Wrong colour and wrong pattern.

Graeme Lyons Says:

Actually, I think it must be Tectura virginea.

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