Monday, February 5, 2018

Dalgety Bay - Diet of Worms

I decided to take a small break after January's madness. OK, that's a lie. I was painting my kitchen. There's no way I ever decided that, but it happened anyway.

Fortunately I was able to manage a fantastic hour at low tide on Sunday morning to keep the show on the road. It was a nice exercise in the variability of annelids. Ironically this was exactly the group I was thinking of as tedious and possibly avoidable. They showed me! My favourite was Cirriformia tentaculata, a spectacularly tentacled worm from under an intertidal rock. It would have been the scaleworm, which is awesome but which I already knew from last year.

Spirorbis spirorbis

Lepidonotus squamatus - a scale worm

Cirriformia tentaculata

Lumbricus rubellus

The Star of the day, literally, was the lovely Small Brittlestar, Amphipholis squamata, of which there were two. This is a very pretty little thing and allegedly bioluminescent. I spent some time trying to see this (naturally!) but to no avail.

And lastly on the way to the coast I wandered briefly into the woods and picked up Chaetosphaerella phaeostroma, which I expected to find somewhere. The spores are good value under the microscope.

So, we keep moving along and the kitched is even almost finished - I hope.

342 alga Fucus serratus Toothed Wrack
343 flowering plant Ficaria verna Lesser Celandine
344 diptera Phytomyza ranunculi An agromyzid fly
345 lichen Opegrapha calcarea A lichen
346 lichen Lecidella asema A lichen
347 alga Laminaria hyperborea Cuvie
348 * annelid Cirriformia tentaculata A marine worm
349 annelid Lepidonotus squamatus An annelid worm
350 * annelid Lumbricus rubellus An earthworm
351 annelid Spirorbis spirorbis An annelid worm
352 bird Anser anser Greylag Goose
353 bird Streptopelia decaocto Collared Dove
354 bryozoan Electra pilosa A bryozoan
355 cnidarian Actinia equina Beadlet anemone
356 * echinoderm Amphipholis squamata Small Brittlestar
357 fungus Chaetosphaerella phaeostroma A pyrenomycete
358 mollusc Littorina littorea Common Periwinkle


  1. Incredible, just incredible. Not the total, which I guess is alright for start of Feb (haha!) but that you managed to see over 350 species BEFORE adding Collared Dove to the tally. Incredible! :D

    1. for sure. They just started calling. If I'd tried I suppose I could have found them earlier. I still haven't seen bullfinch or mistle thrush either

  2. Blimey Ali, you're off to a blistering start. Jealous of your knowledge of bryophytes, algae etc. Added a spider (Monocephalus fuscipes) and a beetle (Bisnius fimetarius) to my list this afternoon so now on 276 for the square and 238 for the garden. Still, this square doesn't really get going until April (or May if it's a cold spring) so I'm playing the long game...

    1. Thanks, Tim. In January I try to get around the resident stuff (bryophytes, lichens, fungi) that I won't have time to even think about once the inverts kick off. Every year I get surprised by how fast it ramps up