Spider Crabs

Spider crabs are common in Lyme Bay and caught by fisherman for export. For some reason they are not popular to eat in the UK (Perhaps because they look so fierce!). When they mate they gather in vast numbers off the coast forming a dense covering over large areas of the sea floor. This short movie clip gives some idea of what its like to see this unique occurrence just off Burton beach.
Spider Crab - Head On
We are very grateful for material supplied by Chris Duggan and Richard Edmonds
A small crab on another Spider Crab
A Hermit Crab on top of a Spider Crab
Diver over Spider Crab gathering
Diver over Spider Crab gathering
Spider  Crabs

Spider Crabs.

The bulk of the crabs that collect together are female and are much smaller
than the males. They have also just moulted and are therefore vulnerable to predators and no good for cooking!

Spider Crabs
Spider Crabs
Other movie shots and stills show some of the other undersea life off the beach and in Lyme Bay.

Cuttle Fish movie

Another Cuttle Fish movie showing the animal hunting among the rocks and weed.

Cuttle Fish
A small shoal
A small shoal of immature Pout Whiting. The shallow reefs are a haven for young fish during the summer months
A small shoal
Another view of the Pout Whiting
Large Jelly fish
A large Compass jelly fish which are not often encountered along the coast
male cuckoo wrasse
A male cuckoo wrasse on the wreck of the Baygitano, towards Lyme Regis. Cuckoo wrasse start their lives as females and then the more dominant ones gradually change into males, developing the most fabulous blue, red and orange colouration. The females are red/pink
Ross Coral
Ross Coral which grows on the deeper ledges (20 m plus) across Lyme Bay. It is not a coral at all but a colonial bryozoan.........lots of little coral like animals that build up a complex growth that resembles cornflakes all fused together!
A wreck in Lyme Bay
The wreck of the Baygitano near Lyme Regis. This was a cargo ship that was torpedoed in the First World War and is now a haven for wildlife. Depth 20 m.
Tubeworms open
Tubeworms. These live in hard tubes and can withdraw their feeding tentacles quickly at the first sign of approaching danger.
Tubeworms - closed
Tubeworms with their tentacles withdrawn as a small fish goes by.

Return to "Diving off Hive Beach"

The under sea Flying Fortress

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Tim Linford