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Saturday, 13 August 2011

First Scilly record of SPONGE CRAB

First SPONGE CRAB for Scilly 

  And what a crab! This SPONGE CRAB was caught in one of Barry Bennet's lobster pots about six miles south of St Mary's. He brought it to shore and informed Joe. Joe let Ren know and with Ren I saw this impressive crab with the claws tipped with waxy pink. Normally the crab is covered by an encrusted sponge on the upper shell to hind it away from predators. However, this individual lost it and it may have come off in the lobster pot. This has got to go down as one of the best things I've seen this year!
  It's a very uncommon crab in British Waters with maybe only a single seen every five years in the Southwest. It ranges all the way down the South Africian coast.

Note the waxy pink chelae on the claws

  Ren and family got in me wagon and we made our way to his place where he had a first for me in the shape of a Lesser Cockroach. He caught it on St Martins, where they are common, but very hard to catch up with and brought it over to St Mary's. He's now returned the cockroach back to St Martins.

Female Lesser Cockroach with egg sack was a new species for me. The egg sack is only attached to the female for only a few days. 

  Overnight, Martin and I were in a field full of Ragwort just off Telegraph Road at the junction of Higher Lanes. Here we found good numbers of moths feeding including over 55 Setaceous Hebrew Character  .

Total species of moth

Rusty-dot Pearl  1
Rush Veneer  2
Green Carpet  1
Cloaked Minor  1
Large Yellow Underwing  3
Swallowtail  1
Small Fan-footed Wave  4
Single-dotted Wave  4
Brimstone  4
Straw Underwing  12
Angle Shade  7
Turnip Moth  9
The Rustic  35
Common Rustic  40+
Flame Shoulder  25+
Setaceous Hebrew Character  55+

Up to 12 Straw Underwing were feeding in the Ragwort field 

Moths feeding on the Ragwort

You could hear Great-green Bush Cricket all over the shop

Acleris emargana at Porth Hellick, was a new species of moth for me

Up to 9 Chiffchaff, 6 Willow Warbler, 4 Blackcap and 5 Reed Warbler were at Higher Moors and there were 4 juvenile, 2nd winter and an adult Mediterranean Gull at Porthloo 


  1. Is the crab Dromia personata?? I love that one, we used to see them in Croatia. They are so "furry" and "friendly", rarely pinch. Very nice :)

  2. Hi there, yes it is It was an amazing crab! Hope I see another one very soon