Greater amberjack

December 10th, 2009

Seriola dumerili, commonly known as the greater amberjack was sighted in Guernsey. This is the first recording of this fish in Guernsey and it is uncommon to Britain. Seriola dumerili are blue or greenish in adults with a silvery white belly and sides. Sometimes, they have a brown or pinkish tinge. The juveniles are between 2 and 17 cm in length and have five dark body bars which split vertically across their body. The maximum recorded size for Seriola dumerili is 188 cm in length although it is common for them to grow up to 110 cm. The greater Amberjack is carnivorous and feed on other fishes and some invertebrates.

Photo of Seriola dumerili here

The goose barnacle, Conchoderma virgatum was also sighted.

Photo: Steve Trewhella

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Miniature sea tulip found on Isles of Scilly

November 15th, 2009

A new species for the UK, the Miniature Sea Tulip (Bolteniopsis prenanti) has been found growing on the Isles of Scilly. The sea tulip is a stalked sea squirt that grows to about 15mm in height and at depths between 40-55cm. Visually, it is similar to the sea squirt Boltenia ovifera found on the USA’s pacific coast and the sea tulip Boltenia pachydermatina found in Australasia. Perhaps because of its size, there have been only 11 confirmed records around the NE Atlantic.

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Discoveries in July

July 29th, 2009

Discoveries this month have included a Slipper Lobster on the Isles of Scilly and a White Sea Bream found on Guernsey.

In the Mouls channel between little Innisvouls and Mouls, in the eastern Isles of Scilly, a slipper lobster was caught in a lobster pot at a depth of 14m.

A White Sea Bream (Diplodus sargus) was caught as part of a shoal of visually similar fish. It is the first White Sea Bream to have been caught and reported in Guernsey.

Click for photo of Diplodus sargus

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Marbled rock crab found on Guernsey

April 28th, 2009

A Marbled Rock Crab (Pachygrapsus marmoratus) was found on Guernsey’s west coast. This could be the first record of this species found on Guernsey. Pachygrapsus marmoratus has a shell or carapace of up to 3.6cm in length and is violet-brown to almost black in colour, with a marbled pattern of yellowish brown. The carapace is almost square in shape. The marbled rock crab is very fast moving and therefore difficult to catch.

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Brown venus, fish parasite and jewelbox sighted

March 18th, 2008

Photo: Dave Jarvis

The bivalve Callista chione, also known as the brown venus, was found stranded on a beach in Hayle, Cornwall. Callista chione is an uncommon species in Britain although it is found in South-West England and the Channel Islands. It is a large oval shell that can grow up ton 9cm in length. The outer shell is a reddish-brown colour with darker streaks and the inner shell is an off white colour.

Photo: Steve Trewhella

This isopod, Gnathia maxillaris was also found this month. Gnathia maxillaris is a small isopod; up to 5mm in length and male, female and juvenile Gnathia maxillaris are significantly different in their appearance. The one pictured is a Juvenile. They can usually be found in crevices, empty barnacle shells and Laminaria holdfasts. Around 100 embryos develop inside the body of the female before being released as larvae or Zupheae where they become fish parasites. The usually attach to the bodies of; the Shanny (Lipophrys pholis), the Long-spined Sea Scorpion (Taurulus bubalis) and the Corkwing Wrasse (Symphodus melops). They leave the fish host after a blood meal, their thoracic region expanded and become Pranizae larvae. Not much is known about the adult Gnathia maxillaris but it is believed that they do not feed.

Photo: Steve Trewhella

Found in a fish box in Chesil was the shell Pseudochama gryphina, known as a jewelbox. The first of this species recorded in the UK.

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First UK sighting of snakelocks anemone shrimp

December 2nd, 2007

14 Snakelock Anemone shrimp (Periclimenes sagittifer) were found during a dive off Swanage Pier in Dorset.

Photo: Matt Doggett

Periclimenes sagittifer are small, transparent shrimps which can reach about 3cm in size and usually live symbiotically with the Snakelocks Anemone, giving it its name. This is the first known sighting of Periclimenes sagittifer on mainland Britain.

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