to Lancing Beach 2005
Lancing Beach is a sand with an area of loose flint rocks
It was a very low spring tide and a visit to the shore not to be missed by rockpoolers. However, although most of the common crabs were present, there nothing of special note to be seen in the shallow pools and under rocks.
Link to a Special Report
The low equinoctial spring tide receded as far as I have known it uncovering all the rocks on Lancing Beach. It was too dark to explore the exposed shore properly, but juvenile Small-headed Clingfish (probable ident.) were present under rocks, with hundreds of crabs and a yet to be identified chiton. The chiton is 29 mm long and 20 mm at its widest part. The species is probably a full sized Acanthochitona crinita. The sea anemone Sagartia troglodytes was common and the Snakelocks Anemone frequently seen, its tentacles clear as it quickly got darker.
The clingfish is about 10 mm long
The container containing the Clingfish was inverted and the pelvic sucker kept the fish in place.
16 March 2003
Common Name Scientific Name Frequency Comments Small-headed Clingfish Apletodon dentatus 10 + Probably many more. Ident. only 90% sure and being checked Edible Crab Cancer pagurus One Crab Hairy Crab Pilumnus hirtellus 150 + Crab Long-clawed Porcelain Crab Pisidia longicornis 200 + Snakelocks Anemone Anemonia viridis Frequent 12 + Sea Anemone Sagartia troglodytes Common
Beadlet Anemone Actinia equina Only one seen Chiton Lepidochitona cinerea Only one seen Chiton Acanthochitona crinita Only one seen
29 mm long
Sting Winkle Ocenebra erinacea At least one Grey Topshell 75+
The list above is incomplete because the light was fading rapidly
The low spring tide only receded to 1.09 metres and this was not low enough to reveal the rocky areas on Lancing beach. The following abundant amphipods were put under the QX3 computer microscope:
With due southerly wings up the Gale Force 7 at times pushing a high spring tide (6.2 metres) against the shingle beach, there was very little foreshore by Brooklands Boating Lake and the Ringed Plovers (at least 4 probably more) occupied the crest of the shingle bank and even ventured on to the coastal path.
A black sea bird was resting on the sea off the beach adjacent to Widewater Lagoon. In the swell it was being carried into about 20 metres from the shingle beach at a high spring tide. It was almost certainly an injured Razorbill.
Collecting a few rocks for aquarium props in fading light, a moonless evening under torchlight, there were dozens of Squat Lobsters, Galathea squamifera, and at least one red-eyed Velvet Swimming Crab, Necora puber. I thought that I picked up two, but the following day, I noticed that the crab had pale blue eyes and this I now think may be a different crab altogether, Liocarcinus arcuatus, the Arch-fronted Swimming Crab which I have never discovered before, nor have I heard reported before from the shore. The identity of this crab has been confirmed by Dr. Reindert Nijland.
This small specimen of this crab (carapace width 25 mm) had a heavy carpus on both chelae, a rough carapace in chocolate brown, swimming legs that were pointed, slower moving than Necora, with also are pronounced creamy white underside, and at dusk that was only its fractionally different movement that made it stand out from the Shore Crab. There were no "teeth" between the eyes, and the carapace was in a straight line between the eyes, with red antennae and antennules.
BMLSS Intertidal Crabs
With Indian Summer summer preceding some of the highest and lowest equinoctial spring tides for over 20 years was too good a rockpooling chance to miss as low tide receded to Chart Datum about 6:00 pm, just before an attractive red sunset.
low tide revealed shallow pools and rocks covered in weed. There were relatively
few rocks to turn and the fauna was not spectacular but interesting enough.
The most noticeable animal life included:
Shore Crab Carcinus maenas (25+)
Hairy Crab Pilumnus hirtellus (20+)
Velvet Swimming Crab Necora puber (one)
Short-legged Spider Crab Eurynome aspera (one)
Long-legged Spider Crab Macropodia rostrata (20+)
Long-clawed Porcelain Crab Pisidia longicornis (20+)
Prawn Paleamon serratus (30+)
Common Hermit Crab Pagurus bernhardus (one) in a Netted Dogwhelk shell
Snakelocks Anemone Anemonia viridis (one)
Rock Goby, Gobius paganaellus (two young fish)
5-Bearded Rockling, Ciliata mustela (one large fish, over 20 cm long)
The push net in the shallow seas produced an exiguous haul as well, but was more interesting:
Cuttlefish, Sepiola (one)
South-claw Hermit Crab Diogenes pugilator (three), my first record from Sussex.
Unidentified Swimming Crab (one, small)
Brown Shrimp, Crangon crangon (two)
Sole, Solea solea, (8+) (juvenile fish) ? species ?
Off Lancing beach on the seaward side of Widewater, four Undulate Rays, Raja undulata, were seen in the shallow water.
A seal, probably a Common (or Harbour) Seal, Phoca vitulina, is spotted off Lancing beach between the breakwaters at high tide by the Golden Sands Caravan Park. It was mistaken for a dog at first which is often the case. Seals are a rare sight off the mid-Sussex coast, but a few have been seen off Shoreham beach before. The nearest rookery is a small group of seals in Chichester harbour which are occasionally seen around Selsey (Seal Island).
Not anything like as good as last month. Rather poor and disappointing:
Some species recorded:.
Shore Crab (10 +)
Squat Lobster, Galathea squamifera (one)
Long-clawed Porcelain Crab
Sagartia troglodytes Anemone
Bryozoa (click on this link for a photograph).
Sea Mat, Membranipora membranacea
Squid eggs washed up.
best buckets to use to temporarily house small fish and crabs for inspection
are light in colour. Fish will suffocate if left in a bucket for too long
on a hot day. The fish should be returned under rocks so they are safe
from marauding gulls.
Click on the fish for identification
more amazingly Ray
Hamblett discovered a small Montagu's
Sea Snail, Liparis montagui, (a
small fish) underneath a rock. This is a small orange fish and although
I had never ever discovered one on thousands of visits to the shore. I
immediately recognised it as this fish is actually known to breed off Lancing.
This was discovered by the late John Barker and
the species confirmed by fish expert at the Natural History Museum Alwyne
Wheeler. The children discovered over a dozen
pool fish of four species to much excitement, as well lots of different crabs.
Furthermore, the beach was home to four species of sea anemones including large Dahlia Anemones and frequent Snakelocks Anemones, enough to identify this location as the most easterly regular location of the latter sea anemone on the northern English Channel coast.
Adur Estuary Survey by the late John Barker
20 +) (a small wading bird) fed energetically
alongside the sandy pools and a the margins of sand and sea.
|Common Name||Scientific Name||Frequency||Comments|
|Tompot Blenny||Parablennius gattorugine||One||Fish|
|5-Bearded Rockling||Ciliata mustela||Five +||Fish|
|Montagu's Sea Snail||Liparis montagui||One||Fish|
|Long-spined Bullhead||Taurulus bubalis||Five +||Fish|
|Shore Crab||Carcinus maenas||3+ adults||Crab|
|Edible Crab||Cancer pagurus||3 +||Crab|
|Hairy Crab||Pilumnus hirtellus||25 +||Crab|
|Long-clawed Porcelain Crab||Pisidia longicornis||Anomuran|
|Common Hermit Crab||Pagurus bernhardus||Anomuran|
|Snakelocks Anemone||Anemonia viridis||Frequent 25 +|
|Dahlia Anemone||Urticina felina||At least 3|
|Sea Anemone||Sagartia troglodytes||Common 50+|
|Beadlet Anemone||Actinia equina||Only one seen|
Identity only discovered in the aquarium.
|Gooseberry Sea Squirt (brown)||Dendrodoa grossularia||Dominant|
to Lancing Beach 2004 Reports
Half Brick Beach 2004
Link to Lancing Beach 2003