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trying to investigate the reason why the Ringed Plover often fails
to bring up its young in the vicinity of humans.
It is a shingle nesting bird. Several possibilities have been suggested:
Humans get to near the nest, frighten the bird off a or trample the eggs. I would expect this to occur when public pressure on the beach is too great.
often this little bird persists quite near seafront houses and other possibilities
I wish to consider.
Dogs sniff out the nest.
Does anybody know of any research that has been undertaken on this subject, or failing this, has anybody got any anecdotal observations.
The nests are difficult to discover, but sometimes small indentations in the shingle are all that remains of an attempted nest site. Often, the first indication is the feigning behaviour when the Ringed Plover attempts to distract anybody or any animal that ventures too close.
Plover nests are susceptible to many predators, but fox, badger and carrion
crows are probably the major problems here at Rye Harbour. Barry
Yates ( Rye Nature Reserve)
put the most likely causes of Ringed Plover breeding failure, as seen from
our windows overlooking the shingle beach, as 1. CROWS, 2. Foxes, 3. Dogs,
4. Human disturbance, 5. Other reasons. David
Wood (Shoreham Beach)
Atlantic Eels Anguilla anguilla
I am a proprietor of a river on the west coast of Scotland (River
Shiel, Ardnamurchan, Argyll). In past years we had a substantial
run of eels during the month of March . In fact there was such an abundance
that we were able to sell these returning eels for aquaculture purposes.
I am pleased to say that the eel industry was unsuccessful but, be that
as it may, we do not appear to have these runs anymore.
My home address is
James E. Semple
Message to the Cnidarian Worldwide Forum 28 November 1999
Catch Tentacles in Metridium
1) catch tentacles appear on certain occasions
Certain hypotheses can be thought up from these observations. However, further information would be useful.
The questions are:
1) are "catch tentacles" regularly found in pickled
specimens of Metridium senile?
If anybody has investigated this anemone and knows the answers to these questions, I would be very interested. It will help formulate a description of what happens. I might even be able to suggest a reason why. (I have already thought up the reason and now I have to check it out.)
Gosse christened this anemone PLUMOSE which is widely (almost 100%) used in the UK and it is a very apt and attractive name.
Steve Chapman (Stoke Newington) was swimming off the Camber Sands (near Rye), East Sussex, at the beginning of September 1999, when he felt a slight wasp-like sting, which was not really apparent until he left the water. The wound was on his lower leg and was small, not even finger sized, about 13 mm x 9 mm, red and sore with about 10-15 scab-like pin pricks which looked infected. After he rinsed his leg the slight sting was relieved and he was just left with a small wound. Picture.
Is this is a jellyfish sting? The species most often responsible for stinging swimmers is the Lion's Mane, but these are rare off Sussex. It could be the Compass Jellyfish, Chrysaora hysoscella, which is more often encountered in the eastern English Channel and has a reputation as a stinger.
This could be a parasitic attack by a Lamprey,
I have been attempting to identify the larval stages of Palaemon
elegans as reported in the scientific literature and have come
across some discrepancies. The first 4 zoeal stages are easily identified,
as is stage 5. After this point the development of the larvae to postlarvae
either follows one (zoea 6) or two (zoea 6 & 7) but I am unable to
find any accurate descriptions for the identification of these stages.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
I have found a reference but I have not read the
Can anybody identify this nudibranch found in the seas off Scotland?
by Frank Emil Moen (Dyreliv i havet)
25 July 1999
I live in the North East of England and have seen jellyfish of various sizes, the majority are purple in colour, the one that came across this morning was roughly the size of a dustbin lid. Is this common as I've never seen one this size before.
Thanks Wayne Curtis EMail: email@example.com
Moon and other Jellyfish page
by Espen Rekdal (Bergen) © 1999
Height = 13 mm
Can anybody identify this sea anemone found on the Cornish shore,
This anemone spreads rapidly in the aquarium.
Can anybody identify this jellyfish washed up on the beach at Ravenglass, Cumbria, NW England?
Aquaria with seaweed and animals from the Norwegian coast
Can you identify the remains of this animal that is occasionally washed up on the strandline in Sussex? Length = 71 mm.
Dolphins in the Trent?
I am currently involved in an experimental fishery for Northern Stone
Crab (Lithodes maja) in Nova Scotia and have read that this species
occurs in European waters. I have been searching for anything relating
to this species. It seems very little scientific work has been done on
this side of the Atlantic.
Lobsters in captivity often die at the ecdysis stage of the moult. Have you any information why this should be the case, and what are the best requirements of lobsters in captivity?
A M (name supplied).
Yes, we have full details of the requirements of the English Lobster, which are compiled are in the post to you. However, most of the information is from experience and not hard scientific facts. Therefore, we are still eager to hear of experiences from aquarists and workers at Public Aquaria?
e.g. Do lobsters thrive and moult in the smaller tanks OK? or do they do better in the large tanks?
How much do they eat?
What is their life span in captivity?
Are mineral supplements added to the seawater?
Is the seawater in the Lobster tank changed frequently?
What species are incompatible with Lobsters?
Are there any success stories of moulting by the very large Lobsters?
The Lobster information will appear in Glaucus in 1999 when all the information is finally collated. Lobsters: More
Do you have any reliable information as to the usual diet of the Cornish Sucker, Lepadogaster lepadogaster ?
Cotton Spinner Holothuria forskali
The puzzle is the Cotton-Spinner's defensive behaviour. When attacked, it is described as turning its rear end towards the threat and expelling a stream of long sticky white threads forcibly from the anus.
And any sea animal that is lifted from the water into air, whether by a rockpooler or in a dredge, will be extremely alarmed and distressed, so probably almost all Holothuria will eject threads in this situation. If I am right, until diving became common almost every Cotton-Spinner people saw had either been exposed by turning rocks on the shore or brought up in a dredge, and ejected its sticky threads in panic; so this was accepted as normal behaviour at any disturbance.
I have corresponded with one or two people about the Cotton-Spinner, but I would welcome any readers' observations which shed further light on these animals, whether confirming my speculations or not.
Jane LilleyEMail Glaucus@hotmail.com
I've been picking up dead Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, up off the beach in Cornwall since 1991. I keep records of every fish I find, and I take most of them home with me, either to eat (they are always fresh) or to hang up to dry, their skin goes hard and leathery and they make good ornaments (outside). They wash in after Christmas when the sea temperature has dropped, in significant numbers (the most I found was 55 on Constantine Bay). My theory is that they can't take the drop in sea temperature, although they always wash in after! a storm and ground sea, so perhaps its the rough weather they find difficult? By the way, they are also a common by-catch in lobster pots during the summer months.
Nick Darke EMail
Triggerfish Database file
Notes on the sizes of Homarus gammarus
I have found an article on maximum size of lobsters. The biggest recorded in Norway was caught outside Bergen and weighted 5.3 kg. The biggest crushing claw of a lobster ever found was calculated to have been from a specimen that weighted about 9 kg. This claw was trawled up outside Denmark in 1964.
Pål Enger (Norway)Lobster: notes on sizes
Lobster's Meal Time
Request for Information:
I have looked up the article on Greenland Shark, Somniosus microcephalus, in National Geographic. The pictures were impressing. Do you know of any Public Aquaria who have kept Greenland Shark over some period of time? If this is done, how did the animal adept to the new environment, under which conditions was it kept, and for how long. The only one that I know of is "Havets hus" in Lysekil, Sweden. The specimen (who measured only 1,35 m) lasted only a few days before it died. Probably because of the wound it got when the local fisherman captured it. I am also interested in similar information on the Porbeagle, Lamna nasus, and a good picture of it in its natural habitat. It have lots of pictures of the Shortfin Mako, Isurus oxyrinchus, but I donít know about any of the Porbeagle.
Thanks very much for e-mailed stuff and 'Shorewatch'.
I don't know if I told you before or not, but I operate a 12 metre passenger
vessel with UNDERWATER WINDOWS !! The
only one in Britain. The vessel is brand new, and I have been taking people
to see the Kelp beds round Kyle of Lochalsh
These were almost certainly immature animals
as they were only 5.5 to 6
Bottle-nosed Whales, off Scotland by
underwater which I interpreted as hunting forays, I am sure hunger encouraged them to move until eventually they left the bay and headed North. Sorry I didn't have time to tell you about it before, as I work long hours and get home late. Incidentally we could observe them under water, as they would come right up to our underwater windows.
Cheers for now,
Nigel Smith e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is not that extraordinary to have the otters climbing up onto fishing boats for tit bits as Portree harbour (North Skye) has also had a regular visitor to the boats.
Weight of Lugworms
Doing a report for third grade on lugworms. Can't find a site about the
weight of a lugworm. Do you know? Thanks!
Rene Williams EMail: WilliamsR@wbu.com
Just weighed a lug for you .although it was out of a jar!!!!!
September 1998Hello Andy
Two items in this months (September 1998) Angling Times:-
1) Two Porbeagles
caught off north east Britain by commercial fishermen, the first
2) A very large Blue shark out of Looe in Cornwall the enormous shark estimated at 157 lb by the Shark Club formula as it was too big for the scales which jumped at 150 to 160 lb. At 8 feet 7 inches long and a girth of 37.5 inches was estimated at 157 lb a testimony to the shark formula chart accuracy.
I'm trying to get confirmation and more details
of both reports.
Wheeler: "eggs believed to be laid in a nest"
Miller and Loates: "midwater spawning; eggs planktonic."
Reply: I favour Miller & Loates: Andy Horton.
Goldsinny spawn in mid-water, Sjölander et al., 1972.
Also, my research is on labrid fish behaviour (mainly spawning behaviour),
Other divers on wreck (first time I have dived it!) descended on bows and
started towards stern. Overtaking other divers I suddenly realised I was
looking at thin brownish lines dropping down holes so slowed down and then
could spot individual fish hovering just above burrow. Identification
clinched by my daughter who had a torch and shone them into burrows when fish
ascended towards light enabling me to see them clearly. There is no doubt
that they are Red Band Fish.
Interestingly in one book I read (Sea Life of Britain and Ireland pub. MCS and ed by Elizabeth Wood) it states that the Lundy population seemed to vanish for a few years and then reappear so how long this colony has been there would be interesting to know. There is also a good 'full length' picture of one of these fish in that book. The other friends diving with us also saw the fish and found that by hovering near by quietly they could watch them re emerge so re-breathers may not be necessary (but other divers kicking up the mud aren't!). The mud around the burrows is dotted with sea pens of the slender variety (Virgularia mirabilis) - a night dive should show them luminescing according to the books.
Red Band Fish
Many Sagartia elegans (orange with white tentacles).
1 Chiton on Winkle, the first Chiton I have seen for several years.
1 Sea Lemon 4 mm long, I first saw it in my tank and do not know if it is still there.
Many Beadlet's 5% green in colour.
1 Brittle Star.
Many young crabs of all varieties.
2 Gobies (now in aquaria).
Many Poor Cod trapped in small rockpools.
10 Rockling (3-4 now in aquaria).
1 Butterfish, a disappointing number compared with previous years.
Loads! of Sea Scorpion's up to 4 cm long and 1 near adult caught in lobster pot (now in aquaria).
A plentiful amount of large Lugworm are present on Tenby's North beach.
1 patch of Star Ascidian.
I have found no Pleurobrachia pileus "Sea Gooseberry" this year, there was a time when they would be washed ashore in their thousands. Their has also been a substantial decline in the number of Mackerel both inshore and out at sea. There have been no feeding frenzies that I have observed and Mackerel are becoming increasingly hard to catch.
description in "British Sea Fishes" I am fairly certain that they were Red Band Fish Cepola rubescens.
We saw approximately 8-10 fish free-swimming in a vertical position
approx. 1 metre above the seabed, fully out of their burrows. When we approached
they swam slowly backwards into the burrows in the soft mud sea bed. Approaching
closer we could see
Water depth was approximately 15 metres, with reasonable water visibility allowing sunlight to filter through giving a lot of ambient light. The water temperature was approx. 17 ° and there was a very slight current.
There were a large number of other holes/burrows on the sea bed but we could see no evidence of fish in most of them.
Is there anymore information available online about the fish?- the book that identified the fish that said that whilst they are common it is rare for them to be seen by divers since they tend to live in deep water. Another diver I spoke to said that they had seen the fish before but only at night, and it was unusual for them to be completely out of their burrows.
The fish were seen to the side of the wreck of the Countess of Earne
(harbour side, not wall side) near the stern. However, whilst I have seen
the burrows before this is the first time in probably 50-60 dives on the
Countess that I have seen them. I tried to include as much information
in the report as to the conditions, so hopefully if the conditions occur
again it may make it more likely for them to be seen.
When collecting specimens for my tank I have met some very nice people who are
interested in what I tell them about my tank and the creatures in my bucket
but unfortunately I also meet some either uncaring or plain stupid people
who lift huge rocks and leave them there so the life on the rock will
probably die. I have replaced many rocks to their original position only to
find crushed crabs and small fish underneath.
However there are some nice intelligent people out their, about three weeks ago I was collecting specimens for my tank and saw a small bucket half filled with sand and some water filled with Poor Cod, I told the three young girls who owned the bucket that the fish would soon die due to lack of air and straight away they put the fish into the sea and also caught and returned the remaining fish from the rockpool. I was grateful for this and gave them a Blenny which I told them could survive in their bucket a little longer if they kept it in the shade.
I also have a large anemone in the tank which
is about 3-4 inches long and 1
was casually gazing at the carpets of Snakelocks anemones when it struck me
that some looked different. Closer inspection showed a number of specimens to
have red bases to the tentacles, the red coloration tapering off towards the
tip of the tentacle. The red colour was only seen on the green variety with
purple tips and not all green ones were like this. Is this is a well
Also have you any ideas as where I could find out about solitary hydroids.
Peter Glanvill PGlanv@aol.com
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