March 2012

Wexford Naturalists’ Field Club

                                                                                        WNFC fieldtrip report for March 2012.

 The club fieldtrip to explore marine life on the seashore at Forlorn Point (S 963 030), Kilmore Quay, took place on Saturday 10 March 2012. About 45 people attended. Jim Hurley welcomed everybody and explained that Forlorn Point is a reef habitat and forms part of the large Saltee Islands cSAC. He drew members’ attention to the fact that the fieldtrip was coinciding with low water of the vernal equinoctial spring tide and that, as a result, the extreme lower shore was exceptionally well exposed. The afternoon was spent exploring the rock pools in very pleasant weather conditions. The following life forms were recorded.

Taxonomic group

Species

 

 

Green Seaweeds:

Sea Lettuce Ulva lactuca

 

Gutweed Enteromorpha sp.

 

Cladophora sp.

 

Velvet Horn Codium tomentosum

Brown Seaweeds:

Channelled Wrack Pelvetia canaliculata

 

Flat Wrack Fucus spiralis

 

Bladder Wrack Fucus vesiculosus

 

Toothed Wrack Fucus serratus

 

Knotted Wrack Ascophyllum nodosum

 

Forked Rubberweed Bifurcaria bifurcaria

 

Japweed Sargassum muticum

 

Tangle Laminaria digitata

 

Sea Belt Laminaria saccharina

 

Furbelows Saccorhiza polyschides

 

Thongweed Himanthalia elongata

Red Seaweeds:

Wormweed Furcellaria lumbricalis

 

Carragheen Chondrus crispus

 

Dulse Palmaria palmata

 

Coralweed Corallina officinalis

 

Pepper Dulse Osmundea (Laurencia) pinnatifida

 

Pink Encrusting Weed [species in a number of genera]

 

Necklaceweed Lomentaria articulata

 

Ceramium sp.

 

Polysiphonia lanosa [an epiphyte on Ascophyllum]

Lichens:

Black Tufted Lichen Lichinia pygmaea

 

Black Shields Lecanora atra

 

Orange Lichen Xanthoria parietina

 

Sea Ivory Ramalina siliquosa

 

Black Lichen Verrucaria maura

 

Powdery Yellow Lichen Caloplaca marina

Mosses:

Dark Cushion-moss Schistidium maritimum

Flowering Plants:

Red Fescue Festuca rubra

 

Thrift Armeria maritima

 

Western Clover Trifolium occidentale

 

Sea-milkwort Glaux maritima

 

Rock Sea-spurrey Spergularia rupicola

 

Buck’s-horn Plantain Plantago coronopus

 

Danish Scurveygrass Cochlearia danica

 

Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil Lotus corniculatus

 

Curled Dock Rumex crispus

 

Sea Mayweed Tripleurospermum maritimum

 

Sand Couch Elytrigia juncea

 

Creeping Bent Agrostis stolonifera

Sponges:

Purse Sponge Scypha compressa

 

Breadcrumb Sponge Halichondria panicea

 

Orangepeel Sponge Hymeniacidon perleve

Sac-animals:

Dahlia Anemone Urticina felina

 

Hydroids [several species in Class Hydrozoa]

 

Beadlet Anemone Actinia equina

Worms:

Bristleworms [several species in Class Polychaeta]

 

Scaleworms [several species in Family Aphroditidae]

 

Keelworm Pomatoceros lamarcki

 

Anti-clockwise tubeworm Janua pagenstecheri

 

Clockwise tubeworm Spirorbis spirorbis

 

Ragworm Perinereis cultifera

Barnacles and allies:

Barnacles [Order Cirripedia]

 

Common Acorn Barnacle Semibalanus balanoides

 

Sea Slater Ligia oceanica

 

Amphipods [several species in Order Amphipoda]

 

Isopods [several species in Order Isopoda]

 

Shrimp-like animals [several species in Class Malacostraca]

Prawns and Crabs:

Common Hermit Crab Pagurus bernhardus

 

A humpback prawn Eualus occultus or Thoralus cranchi

 

Green Shore Crab Carcinus maenas

 

Edible Crab Cancer pagurus

 

Broad-clawed Porcelain Crab Porcellana platycheles

 

Long-clawed Porcelain Crab Pisidia longicornis

 

Furrowed Crab Xantho incisus

 

Velvet Swimming Crab Necora puber

 

Sea Spider [unidentified species in Phylum Pycnogonida]

Insects:

Springtail Anurida maritima

 

Bristletail Petrobius maritimus

Molluscs: Chitons:

Common Chiton Lepidochitona cinerea

Molluscs: Sea Snails:

Common Limpet Patella vulgata

 

Painted Top Calliostoma zizyphinum

 

Grey Top Shell Gibbula cineraria

 

Flat Top Shell Gibbula umbilicalis

 

Toothed Top Shell Monodonta lineata

 

Common Periwinkle Littorina littorea

 

Flat Periwinkle Littorina obtusata or L. mariae

 

Small Periwinkle Littorina neritoides

 

Rough Periwinkle Littorina saxatilis

 

Spotted Cowrie Trivia monacha

 

Common Dog Whelk Nucella lapillus

Molluscs: Sea Slugs:

Retusa sp.

Molluscs: Sea Shells:

Common Mussel Mytilus edulis

 

Common Hatchet Shell Lasaea rubra

 

Saddle Oyster Anomia sp.

Sea Mats:

Sea Mat Membranipora membranacea

Spiny-skinned animals:

Common Cushion Star Asterina gibbosa

 

Brittlestar Amphipholis squamata

 

Green Sea Urchin Psammechinus miliaris

Sea Squirts:

Gooseberry Sea Squirt Dendrodoa grossularia

 

Star Ascidian Botyllus schlosseri

Fish:

Worm Pipefish Nerophis lumbriciformis

 

Shanny Lipophrys pholis

 

Shore Clingfish Lepadogaster lepadogaster

Birds:

Brent Goose

 

Red-breasted Merganser

 

Gannet

 

Cormorant

 

Shag

 

Grey Heron (Frankie Tennant)

 

Oystercatcher

 

Turnstone

 

Common Gull

 

Herring Gull

 

Great Black-backed Gull

 

Razorbill

 

Rock Pipit (Frankie Tennant)

 

Starling

Mammals:

Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus [fresh runs and burrows]

 

Thanks to Brian O’Connor for compiling and providing the list of birds seen during the afternoon.

Images of, and further information on, many the life forms listed above may be accessed on the Internet on sites such as the Encyclopaedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland at http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/. For further information about any aspect of the fieldtrip contact Jim Hurley at swc@eircom.net; telephone (053) 912 9671.

After the fieldtrip members enjoyed light refreshments and a chat in the Stella Maris Centre hosted by Rose Hurley.