Monday, 2 December 2013

Shoresearch en Francais

Last week all the partners of the PANACHE project got together for a meeting in Boulougne-Sur-Mer in Normady. It was a good opportunity to report how well the Shoresarch programme is going here in Cornwall. Information is now coming in from all along the British coast and hopefully our French counterparts will be carrying out more surveys like ours in the future too! 
Highlight of the meeting was a field trip out on the shore to La Pointe de la Creche. At first sight this coast did not look very exiting but out on this rocky point - we found a good range of species including a couple we don't find in Cornwall!

This was so exiting - found in the mortar cracks on the outer breakwater - a graspid crab most likely an invasive species - graspids are very agile little crabs found on the shore in (usually) much warmer climes. Although it certainly looks like Hemigraspus sanguinea as we weren't able to pull it out from its lair we were not able to get proper closeup look so it may be the closely related Hemigraspus takanoi (from japan), which has furry claws. Hemigraspus sanguinea was first found in Europe in 1999 and it is now fairly widely distributed along the channel coast but has yet to arrive in The Uk. Boulogne is only 20 miles or so from Dover so it could arrive any time! 
 Hermit crab fight - the big one wants the other ones shell maybe? - Darwins barnacle in foreground

Darwins barnacle - Eliminus modestus was common on the site particularly on mussel shells

Nice pale juvenile shore crab Carcinus maenas- shame they loose these markings as they grow up! 
False Irish Moss, Mastocarpus stellatus was common on the site
Bryony Chapman of Kent Wildlife Trust is pretty sure that this is Caulacanthus okamurae, an invasive species that looks very similar to many other small branching red seaweeds, this was common on this site attached to barnacles 
Bunnys ears, Lomentaria articulatum
Hydroids Dynamena pumila

Our french marine biologist guide assured us this was a species only found here -Gelidium pusillum - var. pulvinatum Bryony from Kent Wildlife trust has taken a specimen to show to the Natural History Museum.

Close up of the seaweed

Our Local marine biologist guide Alain Richard was really helpful - communication was easy if you stuck to scientific names! 

Can anyone guess what this is?? Answers on a postcard ....

These barnacles - Semibalanus balanoides (thank you to Alain Richard and Frances Kerckhof for helping with the identification) had grown really large and were everywhere. 

in a pool we found several leathery sea squirts Styela Clava - an invasive species from Korea
Beautiful view back to the city of Boulogne-Sur-Mer

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