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The Green Bubble Shell

Green Bubble Shell

Each month we feature a new species. This month we discuss Haminoea alfredensis Bartsch, 1915 (text by Alan Hodgson, photograph by Peter Smith). This opisthobranch gastropod mollusc (Order Cephalaspidea) is commonly known as the Green Bubble Shell and is endemic to South Africa. It is found all around the South African coastline and is very common in estuaries especially on sea grasses such as the eelgrass Zostera capensis (as shown in the image). (more…)

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Seahorses on your doorstep

Seahorse research by Knysna Basin Project

A curious, ancient looking creature grasps to its Codium anchor as sampling begins every month at low tide in the canals of Thesen Island Marina. This brownish-green resident is the Knysna seahorse (Hippocampus capensis), the only endangered seahorse in the world. This means as a student, and full-time ocean-lover, it is such an amazing experience to study these animals. We set off just before low tide hits in the Knysna Basin Project boat armed with a pool scoop-net, a scale and calipers. Spending around an hour sifting through scoops of Codium tenue (the free floating green-black macroaglae all over the canals) we eventually find a couple of shy individuals. Transferring the surprised animals into a container of water is step...

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Proper identification of the Moonshine worm in the Knysna Estuary

Knysna moonshine worm

In the week of the 27th of February, I had the privilege of working in the Knysna Estuary and connecting with the people involved in the Knysna Basin Project. As part of my M.Sc degree I look at the proper identification of the Moonshine worm in the Knysna Estuary. On-going interviews with local fishermen and published data suggest that polychaete worms are increasingly being harvested and utilized as baiting species in the Knysna Estuary. It is, however, not known whether harvesting of polychaetes is sustainable or how the apparent increase in utilization by recreational and subsistence fishermen may affect stocks. These problems are compounded by widespread confusion over proper identification of some species. (more…)

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