New British species

In early November I decided to sample the Eelgrass strandline on the banks of Chesil Fleet lagoon , dried Eelgrass with sand and pebbles .

After leaving the sample in a Tullgren funnel overnight , I collected the tiny animals that had fallen out , there were high numbers of tiny white springtails , further inspection by Springtail expert Dr Peter Shaw , revealed that they were the Arctic Springtail Megaphorura arctica  ,




Springtail Axelsonia littoralis

During a recent survey of the seashore at Osmington mills Dorset , I found some tiny Springtails in rock crevices on the middle shore , Dr Peter Shaw identified them as Axelsonia littoralis , a very rare species unseen for nearly 80 years in the UK .


Curled Octopus

We had a fantastic encounter with a Curled Octopus off Chesil beach on the first of November , local divers had alerted us to them , and were happy to guide us to the spot .

Mixed ground of sand and boulders appears to be a favoured habitat , and they appear to start feeding after dark , a long swim into 16 meters of water was well worth the effort , with an Octopus being found within minutes .

We took a selection of photographs , and not wishing to disturb it any further , made our way back to shore .

Sightings of Octopus are rare on the south coast , so this event was a privilege .

Rare Springtails in Dorset

Over the last few months , I have been recording coastal Springtails ( Collembola ) in Dorset .

Some were found in pitfall traps during surveys , and with the help of Dr Peter Shaw , we have identified a healthy population of Mesentotoma dollfusi on at least six beaches .

Another rare an exciting find was the tiny white Springtail Friesea acuminata found under boulders in Kimmeridge bay , this species hasn't been seen in the UK since 1939 .

It highlights how understudied beach strandlines and rocky shores are , with rare species going unnoticed