I always find new rockpooling locations exciting, and Ardnave was no exception. Mum and I were treated to sponges galore, and hermit crab city! Mum also discovered a colony of Orange lights sea squirts, which is mainly restricted to SW England and Wales.
We begun by skimming the seaweed in the shallows with our net, being won over by the hundreds of Oppossum shrimps that gazed vertically at us behind every wave. As we progressed towards an exposed tidal pool, we happened upon shannies, father lashers, gobies and an overwhelming array of frantic hermit crabs and colourful sponges. At one point, while peering into the murky depths of our bucket, we realised a tiny worm pipefish had found its way into our little water world, un-noticed. A highlight for me was the Aplidium Punctum sea squirt, which resembles squidgy orange pom poms. We will definitely be paying a return visit to this haven of surprise.
|Mystery sponge. The aplidium punctum sponge can be seen just under the water.|
|Another mystery sponge|
|One of the most impressive hermit crabs.|
|Orange lights sea squirts. They appeared in the net dislodged, and twisted and turned a bit in the bucket. We returned them to the rocky over hang where we found them.|