Unusual Sightings – Marine Life at Long Reef Aquatic Reserve
Written by: Fishcare Volunteers (Long Reef)
Sea Slug (nudibranchs)
Sea Slug are closely related to land slugs but bear little resemblance – their colours and forms are boundless. Two sensory tentacles are evident near the head & gills on their rear form feathery-looking clusters.
Sea Lizards (Glaucus atlantious)
Sea Lizards feed on Velella velella & Physalia – Blue Bottles. Found in rock pools along with Blue Bottles.
Thickened Sea Urchin (Holopncustlus pycnotllu)
Colourless tube feet & short pink delicate spines compared to other urchins with hard sharp spines.
Heart Urchin (Echinocardium cordatum)
Heart Urchin grows up to 18 cm long. Normally covered with fine curved spines, but when washed ashore denuded of spines – live in the sand on the ocean floor.
Sea Star (Petneia vernilina)
This is a moderately sized sea star with spongy skin.
Feather Star (Crinoid trichoptera)
One of the most conspicuous species found on the reef. Its branched arms have side appendages called pinnules that give a feather-like appearance.
Leatherback Turtle (Caretta caretta)
Sole survivor of a group of fossil species. Can reach 2.8 m in total length and weigh up to 680 kg. This one was found dead on Long Reef in Jan 2004.
Weedy Seadragon (Phylloperyz taeniolatus)
Belongs to the same family as sea horses. Dozens were found washed ashore dead, along the Northern Beaches in March 2010. They grow up to 43 centimetres in length. The female deposits around 250 to 300 eggs on the underside of the male’s tail where they are fertilised.
Education Resources – Marine Life www.ReefcareLongreef.org.au
All photos taken on Long Reef by Reefcare