Sunday, 19 July 2015

Incredible marine life hides, just a stones throw from the Hidden Hut at Porthcurnick!

Fantastic day for a survey - this is the reef we explored for our shoresearch survey. Porthcurnick is on the Roseland near Porthscatho. This is the view from the Hidden Hut- a fantastic beach cafe with incredible food and what a view!
First time Shoresearcher Tallana had the find of the day! Here it is....
Asterina phylactica  (sounds a bit like battlestar galactica)- a very rare tiny cushion starfish - what a beauty!! This is a climate change indicator species that we may well start seeing more of in Cornwall it is about one centimeter across and is an adult! more info here
Tallanas young eyes helped her also spot this tiny and beautiful chiton on a small pebble
I found this tiny crab which I think is Pirimela denticulata judging by the shape of the carapace (shell)
Another personal favourite crab - the Hairy crab! dont grow very large - about (3cm max) but are pretty common on the south coast under boulders! 
I have never seen a baby spiny starfish ( Marthsterias glacias )as small as this one!! Great find by Tallana and her mum Anthea! it was about one centimetre!
In a mid shore pool that was full of Corallina algae we found this beautful cowrie, Trivia monacha, roaming about - note the soft mantle wraps around its pale shell making it look dark in colour when roaming about underwater. 
We were really excited to see this - it is hard to believe that this isn't a different species but apparently its a juvenile cowrie- about the same size with a very thin and delicate shell with a clear spire on the end and a very open aperture compared with that of an adult cowrie.
Rob found a beauty Cornish suckerfish Lepadogaster lepadogaster
While we are on fish.. check out this beautiful juvenile dragonet - only about one inch in length! swimming in a shallow pool!
SPOT THE STALKED JELLYFISH - many of the pools were full of wireweed - a non native species that has been around for many years now- we increasingly notice that native species are living in it such as stalked jellyfish. 

 here is a larger pair of  beautiful and under recorded stalked jellyfish Haliclystus octoradiatus which were found living in the wire weed  approx 12mm tall.
here are some Obelia hydroids living in the wire weed
Algolaphenia hydroid in rainbow wrack which was home to a huge diversity of species!
We found an amazing pool with a host of small Montagu's blennies - some of which were really dark in colour - presumably a natural colour morph. here is a silhouette of one showing its beautiful tentacle crest which is diagnostic of this species.

Lots of  harpoon weed on this site - note the harpoons!

It was a great training day - really nice to see some new volunteers, Pat Farrell, Anthea and Tallana, Simon the work experience guy and Miranda Moore and her dad! Plus old hands, Sarah Stevens, Sue Scott and local seaweed enthusiast Christine Townsend.
We finished off with a lovely piece of cake and a cup of tea at the Hidden Hut - thanks to Simon and Jemma for making us so welcome! 
Next date for Shoresearch volunteer training is 16th August at the amazing Trevone... but between then and now there are lots of rockpool rambles you can take part in to practice your skills see the events listing in a previous post!

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