Sea snail found depositing eggs and boar fish sighted

February 26th, 2008

Lamellaria have been found depositing eggs in Guernsey and Boar fish have been reported in Jersey and Dorset.

On Guernsey’s east coast, Belle Greve Bay, Lamellaria were found excavating holes in ascidians in order to deposit their eggs. Lamellaria has a shell of 10mm length and the animal can grow up to 20mm. This slug-like mollusc varies in colour; yellow, grey or lilac and often with coloured flecks of yellow, black or white. Lamellaria have internal shells enclosed by a mantle which is covered in tubercles. Lamellaria feeds on ascidians and lays their eggs in capsules deposited in holes eaten out of the ascidians by the female. Each flask-like capsule is holds up to 3000 eggs!

In Jersey and Kimmeridge bay, Dorset, Boar fish or Capros aper have been sighted. Capros aper is an oval fish, growing up to 30cm in size. They vary in colour from brick-red for individuals from deep water (200m or more), sometimes with yellow bars, to a yellow-straw coloured fish in shallower waters. It has small, rough scales and feeds on molluscs and crustaceans.

Click here to see pictures of the Lamellaria and Capros aper.

Added by

Violet sea snails found in Ireland

September 15th, 2007

In August and September, there have been several reports of violet sea snails sighted in Ireland. The violet sea snails, Janthina pallida were discovered on a strand in County Sligo and Janthina pallida and Velella velella were both found on Portnoo beach in Donegal.

A mass stranding (>200) of violet sea snails (Janthina pallida) was discovered in County Sligo. These snails grow to about 25mm high and spend their adult life floating on the surface of the sea. This is achieved by creating a ‘raft’ of air bubbles that is encased in a thin layer of chitin produced by the foot. They are often washed ashore during storms and they feed primarily on the siphonophore, Velella.

In Donegal, both Janthina pallida, some of which had bubble floats with eggs attached, and the purple sails, Velella velella, were found washed up on the beach. These organisms usually live on the open sea but can become stranded on beaches if the prevailing winds drive them onto the shore. Velella velella, also known as ‘Jack Sail by-the-Wind’, is deep blue to blue/violet in colour. They are about 100mm in length and are eaten by the violet sea snails, Janthina. Velella velella feeds on young fish, crustaceans and other organisms caught by the nematocysts (stinging cells) on the tentacles.

Photo: Steve Trewhella

Like this photo? Find out more about this photographer here.

Added by