ChrisMcA's picture


Observed: 18th October 2009 By: ChrisMcAChrisMcA is knowledgeable about InvertebratesChrisMcA’s earned reputation in InvertebratesChrisMcA’s earned reputation in InvertebratesChrisMcA’s earned reputation in InvertebratesChrisMcA’s earned reputation in Invertebrates
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Nick Upton's picture

Nice crab

That's a good find... Was it exposed on a very low tide or washed up in poor shape on Rhossili beach?

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.

ChrisMcA's picture

I'm pretty sure on tideline,

I'm pretty sure at sea edge, & from the time just 12mins after LT (a.7m tide) & looked ok. But the only 1 I've seen on the Gower; but in Pembroke saw several,live & a fair way from sea edge.

Nick Upton's picture


Thanks Chris... I'd like to see this one some day...

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.

nightfly's picture

Very interesting crab Chris.

Very interesting crab Chris. I found it near the back of 'A key to the crabs and crab-like animals of British inshore waters' J amd M Crothers. I was beginning to worry it wasnt going to be included but this seems to be a good comprehensive guide.

Good one, as you say unmistakeable.


ChrisMcA's picture

Nick I got the RSPB handbook

Nick I got the RSPB handbook of the seashore& have to say was Impressed & surprised! (as it's just what one imagined a photobook should be before they existed). I thought great choice of species & of typical examples for them, & especially great photos, not surprising as it seems nearly all the best photographers on the net of uk seashore are there.
I was particularly interested in the Pawsonia saxicola P.199 by APHOTOMARINE (David Fenwick) as it has yellow or straw coloured tentacles (such as the one I mentioned at )whereas texts always say dark coloured & are shown black. But with this and I may have the courage of Fenwick's conviction & put it on Ispot.
I did find one 'evident' mistake.P.103 the "honeycomb worm" is Sabellaria alveolata, which is the one that forms intertidal reefs whereas S. spinulosa are "well known for their reef-forming ability when they occur in very large numbers in the subtidal." & the photo looks a dead ringer for alveolata tubes.

Nick Upton's picture


I'm very glad to hear you liked the book and the choice of pics.

Yes, do post your ? P. saxicola. The texts may be wrong and photos rarely lie...

Yes, I'd wondered about the Honeycomb worm figured as the photo matches images I offered of what I'm pretty sure (and you agreed) are S. alveolata e.g.

and while there are few good images of S. spinulosa out there, MARLIN describes it as:

An occasionally gregarious segmented worm that builds tubes from sand or shell fragments. Found subtidally in exposed areas. Does not form reefs over most of its range being found mostly individually but may form thin crusts or large reefs up to several metres across and 60 cm high

which made me think these sparsely positioned tubes from very low shore at Rhossili might be S. spinulosa

I haven't met the book's author, but she is a friend of a friend so I might get a query off to her on this. MAYBE it was meant to be S. alveola figured and the wrong species name got used, Also, it was an odd choice to feature a more subtidal species which is usually called the Ross worm anyway...

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.