Local Wildlife - Shore

Crabs

Crabs belong to the Crustacea group and the soft body is protected by a hard shell. They have a distinctive movement and they walk sideways. They are often seen on the beach, in shallow water or rock pools.

Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs live in spiral shells and, unlike other crabs, do not grow to fit their shell but find a shell to fit their body. The hermit crab can retract its whole body into the shell and is often found in rock pools.

Weever Fish

Weever fish can grow to 35cm long and have poisonous spines along their spine. They bury themselves in the sand with the spines sticking out and attack their prey. They are usually found in warm shallow water often at low tide. They can sting humans and treatment is recommended if a sting occurs.

Jellyfish

Jellyfish are common in the Outer Hebrides and there are many different breeds. Some of the most common ones here are the Moon jellyfish and the Lions Mane. The moon jellyfish is a clear jelly with lilac rings on the top. They do not sting humans whereas the Lions Mane jellyfish is a large red mass with tentacles which will sting. They are usually found washed up on the beach.

Starfish

The common starfish has 5 arms and are usually pink or orange in colour. Found in rock pools and beaches, they move using tiny suckers on their underside which help them slide along the seabed or rock.

Sea Anemone

Sea anemones are often found clinging to the rocks in rock pools and although they look pretty, they are actually predatory animals eating shrimps and small fish. Despite this, they are harmless to humans.

Sea slaters/Sand hoppers

Related to the woodlouse, the sea slater can be seen along the shores of the Hebrides. They are brown and grey in colour which helps them blend into the rocks that they live on.

Sandhoppers are so-called because of their ability to jump when they are disturbed. This is achieved by tucking in the tail and flicking it out propelling them upwards. They are small and look like a shrimp.