One of the benefits of returning to Apollo Bay was being able to explore the rockpools at night again. I was determined to learn as much as I could. Thanks to the GoPro, my life seemed to revolve around tide times.
Alas, I’m a newbie and didn’t always get the information I needed for identification. Here is what we found:
I’m guessing the above is an abalone but it is really beyond my skill base. I’ve tried to find more information online but it all comes up with commercial information.
Update: I asked online, and was told it was “air-breathing sea-slugs, Onchidella nigricans.” Der! They were in the book, just curled differently. One of the problems of trying to self-teach myself so gosh much.
(Birds are easier. Entomology is equally as tricky, but don’t have to deal with underwater photography AND not knowing whether its safe to touch a species.)
Above is Ischnochiton australis, but one that is very encrusted. The person I asked – a marine researcher from the Field Nats – had never seen one that encrusted before, so I don’t feel bad for being a newbie as much. This week I’ve been playing catch up and have asked so many questions.
Apollo Bay Harbour had a lot of sand this visit, it really messed with the conditions. I don’t know if this had anything to do with it.
The below was identified as belonging to the genus Spratelloides but this is beyond my skillset.
The above is Sculptured Goby. Fishes of Australia describe it as:
Body slender, head depressed with several distinctive raised skin flaps giving a sculptured appearance; eyes close together; mouth small, jaws ending in front of eye.
Overall dark brown, with a reticulated pattern of pale spots surrounded by brown lines and several broad saddles or bands across top of body; a pale stripe from eye to rear of jaws.
I’ve narrowed this down to a hairy crab belonging to the pilumnus genus. Either bearded or common but I can’t get a close enough look at the carapace! I kinda do and am leaning towards the common one, pilumnus tomentosus. I just didn’t get a clear enough shot as I didn’t know what area to focus on. I made myself leave the crab book at home.
I took mum rockpooling one night to explore just how diverse it could be. Unfortunately, we left too early and got home before the cool stuff came out. We did catch this sunset: