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3267 Views 3 Replies Last post: Nov 5, 2011 12:03 AM by Triffid RSS
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Dec 3, 2010 5:59 PM

Can anyone identify this seashore creature?

I came across this fascinating creature on a wall above the seashore in Penzance, Cornwall, in June. I've looked at dozens of websites and haven't seen anything similar. I assume it's some kind of arthropod. It was about two inches long and sat there about a minute before wandering back down the wall towards the sea. Does anybody know what it is?



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    Dec 6, 2010 11:06 AM (in response to Cain31)
    Re: Can anyone identify this seashore creature?

    Hi Cain

    This is an interesting lateral view which frustrated my search for a while as it makes the creature look slender.


    I'm pretty certain that it is the largest (to around 25mm - I think 2inches may be an over estimate)  British oniscid isopod (woodlouse) which lives on hard surfaces around high water mark; Ligia oceanica. It is common on all British coasts, but usually stays concealed in cracks during daylight, with the occasional foray. Try looking at night with a torch.


    Thanks for posting the photo; it's good to see things from an unfamiliar angle. And of course, I'm ready to be corrected as I'm just an amateur. If you took a top view, could you post the picture?


    There is a good set of marine isopod photos, including two colour variants of Ligia on the French website  





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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 5, 2011 12:03 AM (in response to Cain31)
    Re: Can anyone identify this seashore creature?

    Hi Cain31,


    That's odd, I have just finished posting my own ID plea and now I've just seen yours!


    My sighting was very similar to your picture and seen at the same type of place, but those I saw were definitely pink (like a pig and smooth like pigs)

    and they had no tails/tail like appenage that I recollect.  They had a slow, pottering type gait, like yours?  I saw them during the day.


    Also they definitely had three legs protruding from each side, no less or more, so i wonder if they were the same creatures as those you saw.


    I'll keep watching, but it's good that someone else has seen something similar, as my partner never did believe me!

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