Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rottnest Island - Bickley Bay (4)

The small rock island offshore at Bickley Bay is a good spot to find interesting invertebrates.

Zoanthus sangibaricus
Just a few inches below the surface I found a colony of zoanthids (colonial anemones, if you like). Each individual is about 1 cm or so across. Together, the individual animals make a brilliantly colored mat covering a submerged rock.

And this is where I saw a western slate pencil urchin (Phyllacanthus irregularis) for the first time. The animal looks like some outer space creature to me. This one was hiding in a rock crevice.

Aplysia dactylomela
And I saw a big sea hare too. This one is about 20-25 cm in length.

Correction (22 Mar 09):
Zoanthus sangibaricus was mispelled. It should be Zoanthus sansibaricus instead.


jreimer said...

Hi Chai!

Nice pix - that does look like Zoanthus - think it is spelled sansibaricus.

And how big was that colony?



Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi James,

Thanks for pointing out the spelling error.

The colony must be at least 1.5 m across.