15 January 2006 was another good day for rock pooling in
decided to visit Belle Greve Bay to the north of St. Peter Port. Wind
was from the south south-east gusting to 21 mph but declining
the afternoon. Air temperature was 9 degrees C and there was
rain. The wind made photography difficult.
the spring tide wasn't very big, 2.0 metres at 1336, the first
I turned over exposed the beautiful yellow and white sea slug,
clavigera. I found two small specimens within ten minutes.
plumula was common and I saw also Jorunna tomentosa.
1 January at La Valette I found male worm pipefish, Nerophis
carrying eggs. At Belle Greve on the 15 January I found
two occasions (six worm pipefish in total) an ovigerous female worm
escorted by two male worm pipefish with their concave abdomens.
two males courting for egg delivery were dissimilar in size. Worm
arrive on the shore at this time of year to breed.
a shore of grey silt and shell gravel that is littered with boulders
cobbles I found many cypris barnacle larvae. Some of the boulders
embedded in the substrate. As I turned the rocks over a pool of
filled the depression left by the rock. Floating on this pool
hundreds of minute golden cypris larvae.
found one gelatinous scale worm, Alentia gelatinosa, in this area.
boulders I turned over had at least one species of scale worm
porcelain crabs, Pisidia longicornis, dominate the mobile
on the underside of cobbles and boulders lying on this grey silt.
only broad-clawed porcelain crabs, Porcellana platycheles, I saw
they were large) were in a clear upper-shore tide-pool lined with
and branched coralline algae, Codium sp. and Anemonia viridis.
ratio of broad-clawed to long-clawed porcelain crabs differs from
rocky shore at La Valette further south. At La Valette broad-clawed
crabs far outnumber long-clawed porcelain crabs.
the shore of grey silt and broken shell I saw one gelatinous ribbon
rows of eggs belonging to an unknown species of ribbon worm.
gelatinous matrix of eggs was narrower than the red ribbon worm
seen on the Guernsey shore in March.
found some interesting ascidians - more small colonies of Botryllus
and several individuals that could be indigenous Styela sp.
collected two elegant Turbonilla sp. mollusc shells - probably
lactea but haven't confirmed id yet.
saw some mysid shrimp and many palaemonids.
Does anyone know of a key to cypris barnacle larvae?
1 January 2006 ormers (Haliotis tuberculata) with a minimum shell
of 80 mm could be legally collected from the shores of Guernsey.
had found an ormer of shell length 11.75 cm on 18 October 2005 on the
at La Valette on Guernsey's east coast - south of St. Peter Port.
wanted to find out if this ormer was still under the same rock. I was
disappointed. (It was under the same rock.) This is the second
I have found an ormer in the autumn which has remained under the
rock through to the New Year. I did not collect it but hope it
the ormer collecting season which continues during large spring
until the end of April. Because of weather conditions I saw only
ormer gatherer at La Valette and after he left I found only about a
large boulders overturned.
tide was about 1.3 metres at 1339. Wind mean direction was
(320°) and mean wind speed was 20 knots with gusts up to 31
Air pressure was about 1008 mb and air temperature was 8.9 °C.
were occasional showers. Light levels were low.
with these conditions I saw more variety of animal life than I
see during the summer months.
first cobble I turned over revealed three large male Xantho incisus
Two metres away I found a smaller female Xantho incisus. I
a fourth and larger male Xantho incisus crab under another cobble
found two large pre-nuptial butterfish, Pholis gunnellus, wrapped
each other under a cobble on muddy sand and shell fragments. One
had 12 conspicuous white ringed black spots along the dorsal
with yellow/olive coloured pectoral fins and edged dorsal fin.
body was brown with white blotches. The other individual had fewer
along the dorsal surface (4?) and had finer white speckling on a
were two juvenile spaghetti-thin 4 cm long butterfish under an
found a tompot blenny, Parablennius gattorugine, in the same area and
worm pipefish, Nerophis lumbriciformis. Two of the worm pipefish
males carrying fertilised eggs on their abdomen and the other was
ovigerous female. Rock gobies, Gobius paganellus were abundant.
some cobbles there were pairs of them.
hirtellus, Galathea squamifera, Athanas nitescens, and
platycheles were abundant under cobbles. I saw also Cancer
Necora puber, and Pisidia longicornis.
a gully with many crevices I saw six groups of Nucella lapillus egg
One crevice contained three individual dog whelks with egg
One of the dog whelks was extended out of her shell and I
in the process of producing an egg capsule.
find two gelatinous scale worms, Alentia gelatinosa (length about 4
One of them was in the same gully as one found last year on 11
saw two contracted Berthella plumula under dry rocks.
varians were abundant in tufts of seaweed (Fucus and reds).
captured and released - a juvenile ballan wrasse, Labrus bergylta,
small headed clingfish, Apletodon dentatus, a two-spotted goby,
flavescens, and several shanny, Lipophrys pholis.
saw several daisy anemones, Cereus pedunculatus, and a dahlia anemone,
felina, which I had not noticed at the present location before.
have now been monitoring three beadlet anemones, Actina equina, for
years (it seems longer) but they remain in place.
below the Fucus serratus zone I found under a boulder in a shallow
22 stars of the star ascidian Botryllus schlosseri.
good start to the year – lets rock ……. and
pool our resources!