Lancing Beach
TQ 018 034

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Lancing Beach to Worthing Pier

2008 - 2015

17 April 2003

Low Spring Tide at Lancing Beach (Photograph by Andy Horton)

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

19 March 2003
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.

Clingfish (Photograph by Andy Horton)

Clingfish on bryozoans
 The clingfish is about 10 mm long

QX3 image of the Clingfish above (by Andy Horton) QX3 image of the Clingfish above (by Andy Horton)

The container containing the Clingfish was inverted and the pelvic sucker kept the fish in place.

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
200 +
Beadlet Anemone Actinia equina Only one seen  
Chiton Lepidochitona cinerea Only one seen  
Chiton Acanthochitona crinita Only one seen Acanthochitona (Photograph by Andy Horton)

 29 mm long

Sting Winkle Ocenebra erinacea At least one  
Grey Topshell   75+  

The list above is incomplete because the light was fading rapidly

16 March 2003
On beach near the Brooklands outfall pipe, three Turnstones could be approached quite closely before they flew off calling. Twenty Sanderlings pattered over the sand surface and there was a few Ringed Plover as well. Alas the low tide of 1.06 metres did not uncover as many rocks as known before, and the intertidal fauna was exiguous, limited to a few common species including the Hairy Crab and small sea anemones Sagartia troglodytes, Beadlet Anemone and Snakelocks Anemone. There were numerous Dogwhelks on the mussel beds on the Brooklands pipe.
BMLSS Rockpooling Page

23 February 2003
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:

21 January 2003
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.

6 December 2002
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.

Arch-fronted Swimming Crab (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

5 November 2002
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

6 October 2002
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.

The 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)


Little Cuttlefish (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)The push net in the shallow seas produced an exiguous haul as well, but was more interesting:

Little CuttlefishSepiola  (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 ?

Rockpooling Trip, Andy Horton, with Ray, Jan and Katherine Hamblett
BMLSS Little Cuttles

25 September 2002
Off Lancing beach on the seaward side of Widewater, four Undulate Rays, Raja undulata, were seen in the shallow water.

Report by Paul Parsons
BMLSS Sharks & Rays

Diogenes (Photograph by Paul Parsons)

23 August 2002
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).

Report by Stephen Savage
 Sea Watch Foundation
Southern Marine Life Rescue
Sussex Marine Life

25 April 2002
Not anything like as good as last month. Rather poor and disappointing:

Some species recorded:.

Hairy Crab (25 +)
Shore Crab (10 +)
Squat Lobster (Photograph by Andy Horton)Squat Lobster, Galathea squamifera (one)
Long-clawed Porcelain Crab

Beadlet Anemone
Snakelocks Anemone
Sagartia troglodytes Anemone

Bryozoa (click on this link for a photograph).

Sea Mat, Membranipora membranacea

Squid eggs washed up.

Squid eggs washed up (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

30 March 2002
Lancing beach proved to be an exceptional discovery. The small patch of loose sponge-covered flint rocks with small bits of chalk proved unusually rich in small rockpool life at the very low tide (TQ 018 034). Katherine Hamblett spotted and Tacita French caught a Tompot Blenny, a small fish that is unusual between the tides. I made hundreds of visits to the shore before I ever caught one.

Photograph by Ray Hamblett5-Bearded RocklingTompot BlennyLong-spined BullheadSlipper LimpetHermit Crab in Netted Dogwhelk shellPhotograph by Ray Hamblett

The 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

Photograph by Ray HamblettKatherine HamblettTacita FrenchLong-spined BullheadEven 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 rock pool fish of four species to much excitement, as well lots of different Liparuscrabs.

Dahlia Anemone, Urticina felina (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)
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

Sanderlings (x 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
Prawn Palaemon Very few  
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  
Pimplet Anemone
Anthopleura ballii
Pimplet Anemone (Photograph by Andy Horton)
Identity only discovered in the aquarium.
Gooseberry Sea Squirt (brown) Dendrodoa grossularia  Dominant

Lancing Beach (by Ray Hamblett)

Link to Lancing Beach 2004 Reports
Half Brick Beach 2004
Link to Lancing Beach 2003

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