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




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]


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


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


Purse Sponge Scypha compressa


Breadcrumb Sponge Halichondria panicea


Orangepeel Sponge Hymeniacidon perleve


Dahlia Anemone Urticina felina


Hydroids [several species in Class Hydrozoa]


Beadlet Anemone Actinia equina


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]


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


Worm Pipefish Nerophis lumbriciformis


Shanny Lipophrys pholis


Shore Clingfish Lepadogaster lepadogaster


Brent Goose


Red-breasted Merganser








Grey Heron (Frankie Tennant)






Common Gull


Herring Gull


Great Black-backed Gull




Rock Pipit (Frankie Tennant)




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 For further information about any aspect of the fieldtrip contact Jim Hurley at; telephone (053) 912 9671.

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








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