The octopus found by Alan Scrymegour on the SCMS walk was a Southern Sand Octopus – Octopus kaurna ( Stranks 1990). They grow to 420mm in length and living in sand and amongst sea grass usually burying in the sand of a day time and coming out at night to hunt.Normal range is from The Great Australian Bight in SA to Tasmania and Southern Victoria. They are not normally found this far north. Perhaps the very cold water we are experiencing this winter has something to do with us finding it here.
Archive for month: August, 2012
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Two of these Carinaria molluscs were found on the tideline at Middle Beach Merimbula by Michael McMasters on 8th August. It has been impossible to identify them beyond the genus level, as so few have been recorded in our waters. The Atlas of Living Australia records only one sighting off the East coast of Australia – Carinaria Cristata off Cookstown North Queensland in 1983.
The animal is a pelagic mollusc with a small transparent shell protecting its gills, but with most of the jelly – like animal outwith the shell. The two specimens found by Michael were around 100 and 150mm respectively.
Do keep a look out for these creatures, as they are particularly interesting, rare and we have not yet got a local photo. We would like to find out if there are a number about at this time.