The new species are the furrowed crab and the anemone shrimp. The furrowed crab is more commonly found in Devon and was first seen in Dorset in 2019. Three different individuals have been seen at Kimmeridge this year.
Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Wild Seas Centre Officer, Julie Hatcher, said, “This crab is an indicator of climate change affecting marine life. As it prefers warmer water it is currently restricted to west and southwest coasts in the UK but would be expected to spread east and north with warming seas.”
The anemone shrimp is a relative of the common prawn, first recorded on mainland Britain in 2007. This exotic looking creature makes its home among the stinging tentacles of the snakelocks anemone, which is commonly found in rock pools and shallow water. Despite its almost transparent body, divers have been regularly finding these shrimps at Swanage and, now, at Kimmeridge.
Julie said, “Snakelocks anenome are abundant at Kimmeridge. We have often looked but never found the anemone shrimps until now and we’re really interested to find out where else in Dorset these shrimps are found.”
Both species are native to the UK and the North East Atlantic area. However, an invasive crab from the Pacific Ocean was recently discovered in Dorset for the first time – the Asian Shore Crab. It was first recorded in the UK in 2000 and, to date, only three confirmed specimens have been recorded.
Julie added, “Rockpooling is a fun and fascinating activity but now, with all these new animals to be found, it is even more exciting. We would ask people to take photos where possible and report their sightings to us so we can keep track of these changes happening in our seas. We don’t yet know what impact the newcomers will have on our long-established wildlife and would like to keep an eye on them.”
Photos and reported sightings can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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