Thursday, 7 May 2015

Stalked Jellies are here!

The first Shoresearch training day of the year was held on Bank holiday Monday, May the fourth with a classroom session at Falmouth Watersports Centre followed by a survey at nearby castle beach.
Castle beach 
The shore there had recently been battered by easterly storms and we saw evidence of that in that much of the sand on the top of the beach has been removed. 3 beautiful clams called banded Venus were found
Banded Venus shell

The biggest surprise though was seeing so many stalked jellyfish. the lower shore pools were teeming with small Haliclystus octoradiatus stalked jellies, a protected and rare species. there has clearly just been a spring bloom of these strange creatures and as David Fenwick had often described we found that the fine branches of red seaweed Ceramium were particularly thick with tiny 2 or 3 mm high juveniles. They were also on other species of seaweed, in fact it was hard to find a bit of seaweed without stalked jellies on! Sea lettuce, Red grape weed, bunnies ears, all had stalked jellies and we even found them living in Sargassum weed - evidence that this invasive species is providing habitat now to our local rare species.
Stalked Jellyfish in Ceramium
tiny stalked jellies on Ulva
Stalked jellies in wireweed Sargassum muticum

Harpoon weed

Orange colonial ascidian Applidium nordmanii and above it Verruca stroemia barnacles

there was lots of this Cystosiera seaweed - probably Cystoceira nodicaulis

It was a really great day and It was particularly nice to see lots of new volunteers keen to get involved in shoresearch. I hope you all enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the next survey which will be at Talland Bay near Looe on the 16th of June 2015.

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