Life in the UK Seas: A Few More Critters

AvatarBy Richard Aspinall 3 years ago
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Following up on from my post about life in UK seas and our wonderful soft coral Alcyonium digitatum, I thought I’d share some more pictures of the fabulous life around our shores that lives in and amongst the soft coral gardens there.rca_4977
One group of animals we have in far greater abundance here than in tropical waters is the anemone. While we might not have an enormous number of very large species (though the Dahlia anemone, Urticina felina, pictured above, can reach twenty centimeters across), we tend to see far more numerous smaller specimens, which are often found in large groups.The Elegant Anemone (Sargita elegans) has a number of color forms. rca_5108 Between patches of anemones, hydrozoans, and the ubiquitous Alcyonium, one can find an array of macro life, including several nudibranch species (see my earlier post) and several very interesting fish, including the very odd looking but quite attractive Agonus Cataphractus or Pogge. I’m never sure how to pronounce this name.  

Pogge resting in Alcyonium

Pogge resting in Alcyonium

 Superficially similar is a member of the order Scorpoaniformes, Taurulus bubalis. This is a common fish that uses cryptic coloration, stealth, and a huge mouth to sneak up on and capture prey.
rca_5141 I managed to photograph one of these fish resting in the arms of a Common Sunstar (Crossaster papposus), that makes for a fantastic image (top image). 
small Common Sunstar

small Common Sunstar

 Finally, I thought I’d drop in an image of the European Common Lobster (Homarus gammarus), an animal that is in much demand for the table as well as being a favorite photographic subject. I’m allergic to crustaceans so I’m never tempted to land one of these beautiful beasts.
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About

 Richard Aspinall

  (324 articles)

Richard lives in Scotland where he works as a freelance writer and photographer. Richard writes for several magazines on topics as diverse as scuba diving, travel and wildlife.

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