Sophia's Blog

Doto coronata (a sea slug/môr-wlithen) - Sophia Wake

Many of our Living Seas Champions help the Living Seas Wales team on events and activities across North Wales and a few are so keen and informed that they continue to educate, enthuse and engage on their own. There’s no stopping Ann Wake and friends who are out and about all over, enjoying our rocky shore wildlife and if you’re related to her, you can’t help but join her on her journey. Here’s a blog of what’s been rubbing off when Ann is joined by her 7yr old granddaughter, Sophia Wake. In her own words (be prepared to be impressed!).

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“Hi, my name is Sophia!

I come to Anglesey to have fun with my Granny & I love to go rockpooling with her & her friends who are Living Seas Champions. My favourite rockpooling place is anywhere that has a rocky shore.

I have found many different creatures while out rockpooling including Nudibranchs (a type of sea slug), Edmundsella pedata, Polycera quadrilineata, Onchidoris bilamellata, Fjordia browni, Fjordia lineata, Doto coronata & Facelina auriculata.

I really love rockpooling & finding all these creatures which we must protect

Another mollusc (and another type of sea slug) I like are the large sea hares (Aplysia punctata), which, if threatened will give off a dark reddish purple ink. Sea Hares can be up to around 12cm long.

I have also found tunicates (sea squirts) including, the star ascidian (Botryllus schlosseri) in many colours like green, blue, orange & grey. These are colonial squirts, as they each have their own inhalant & share one exhalant syphon. They are very beautiful as you can see in my photos.

There are many different anemones that I have seen, including a tube dwelling anemone, beadlet, gems (see pic), snakelocks & dahlia, they have lots of tentacles, which carry stings to catch their prey.

I have seen lots of different crustaceans including, shore crab, edible crab, long clawed porcelain crab, hermit crab, spider crab, spiney spider crab, velvet swimming crab (this is a lovely blue crab with hairs on its paddle like legs & has scary red eyes) & lobster.

I’ve enjoyed finding many shelled creatures live among the rocks including painted topshell, cockles, whelks, netted dog whelks, barnacles, limpets & mussels. There are many sea stars including common star, brittle star, cushion stars - Asterina gibbosa & the more colourful Asterina phylactica.

I've also been Nurdle Hunting. Nurdles are tiny pieces of plastic that pollute our rivers & seas, they can be swallowed by fish & other creatures & then eaten by us!

I really love rockpooling & finding all these creatures which we must protect by not using plastic & polluting the seas. I get out in the fresh air, exercise & am learning all about some of the creatures that we share this earth with.”