Strawberry Dahlia Anemone

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Green Shore Crab.

Another one of our sporadic visits to Roa Island occasioned by a relatively low tide falling on a Saturday when we were all free.

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Roa Island Lifeboat Station and Piel Island.

I’ve reported before that every overturned rock on Roa Island reveals hordes of Shore Crabs. This crab wasn’t even bothering to hide…

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Although in amongst the rocks and shells it was actually surprisingly difficult to spot.

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Sponge. Myxilla incrustans?

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Butterfish.

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We caught numerous Shannies and Butterfish.

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Shanny.

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Starfish.

And found lots of Starfish and Brittlestars.

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This is my favourite photo from the day, but also something of a conundrum: the banded tentacles are a distinctive feature of the Dahlia Anemone, whilst the red, spotted body is characteristic of the Strawberry Anemone. So this must be a Strawberry Dahlia Anemone?

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Sponge. Estuary Sponge?

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Long-clawed porcelain crab. I think.

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Common Brittlestar.

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Ophiocomina nigra – the Black Brittlestar. Possibly.

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Four-horned Spider Crab.

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As the tide reached it’s lowest point and some areas of seaweed were revealed, we were able to find lots of small spider crabs, I suspect of several different species. What a lot of these small spider crabs have in common is the way in which they decorate themselves with bits of weed or seashells. Also the fact that they are hard to hold still to photograph, unlike their surprisingly docile larger cousins…

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Edible Crab.

Something I think I’ve only really fully appreciated since we started to visit Roa Island is the fact that really low tides will always be at around sunset…

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(..or too early in the morning for us to have made it around the Bay to Roa!)

 

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Strawberry Dahlia Anemone

5 thoughts on “Strawberry Dahlia Anemone

  1. The place that keeps on giving, every post you seem to show us something new, this time the spider crabs 🦀
    Splendid place and still leaves me fascinated with the extraordinary diversity of life there. I was also thinking it must be a bit cold this time of year to be tide-pooling until I remembered you’re still months behind on the blog! 😄

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      This was mid-September. (Even then it was pretty cold – B had a friend with him who managed to get very wet and cold, and S and TBH had retreated to the car before the rest of us were prepared to give up). As you say, the diversity there is amazing – if you can dive, it’s apparently even more abundant under the water with all sorts of colourful species. I’ve actually caught these spider crabs before and other kinds too, but they are small and very reluctant to keep still to be photographed – given that the light is often not great it’s usually difficult to get good photos. I’m pretty sure that we’ve seen eight different species of crab here over our visits and I know that there are squat lobsters too – although I haven’t seen one (yet). Just looking at the photos for this post has had me wondering about the tide tables and when we can go back.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      The joys of tide-pooling are one of the great reasons for having kids (maybe you can think of a few others?). I’m sure I would feel self-conscious plodging in my wellies, bent double, covered with mud looking for slimy crustaceans and the like. Also – the kids are often much better at spotting things than I am. And so enthusiastic!
      Hope you enjoy your (first?) Christmas with Tommy!

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