Thursday, February 8, 2018

Dalgety Bay - ann(elid)us mirabilis

Worms, worms, worms! I think I do, on balance, still think earthworms are tedious. Once you get to the seaside though, everything changes! Marine worms are a varied and very attractive lot.

An amazing brief visit to the intertidal yesterday produced a nice small handful of easy species (edible crab, overflying mute swan), but the evening session was more exciting with 4 out of 4 species being lifers.

It was interesting to put the scaleworm Harmothoe imbricata (big!) with its relative Lepidonotus squamatus. From the books it's not always apparent what different animals they are. The Harmothoe is a magnificent beast as you can see below. Psamathe fusca I thought was going to be something sort of ordinary from the ragworm stable, but once under the lens it revealed its beauty, particularly in its colours as the green and pink resolved with closer inspection.

The worm that broke the mould was a nemertean which I briefly tried to ID as a terrestrial flatworm - it was near the top of the beach. Once it became apparent it wasn't, though, the marine books both held sufficient keys (I hope) to nail it as Cerebratulus fuscus. It was interesting to watch it submerged in sea water. I didn't like this group much either to begin with but they are growing on me, partly because of watching them in action.

All will be returned to the sea today after their brief visit ashore. 

Even the seaweed was julaceous today...

Cerebratulus fuscus

Scaleworms - for, um, scale

Psamathe fusca

Ceramium virgatum on a kelp stipe

355 cnidarian Actinia equina Beadlet anemone
356 * echinoderm Amphipholis squamata Small Brittlestar
357 fungus Chaetosphaerella phaeostroma A pyrenomycete
358 mollusc Littorina littorea Common Periwinkle
359 fungus Pleospora herbarum A fungus
360 * diptera Geomyza tripunctata An opomyzid fly
361 mollusc Trochulus (Trochulus) hispidus Hairy Snail
362 mollusc Cornu aspersum Common Garden Snail
363 dermaptera Forficula auricularia Common Earwig
364 fungus Melanomma pulvis-pyrius A pyrenomycete
365 * collembola lepidocyrtus cyaneus A springtail
366 crustacean Cancer pagurus Edible crab
367 bird Cygnus olor Mute Swan
368 annelid Spirobranchus triqueter  An annelid worm
369 fish Lipophrys pholis Shanny
370 * annelid Psamathe fusca A ragworm
371 * annelid Harmothoe imbricata A scale worm
372 * invert-other Cerebratulus fuscus A nemertine worm
373 * alga Ceramium virgatum A seaweed

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