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265

THE CRUSTACEA OF SUFFOLK.

THE CRUSTACEA OF SUFFOLK: CRABS,

LOBSTERS

AND

PART

I.

SHRIMPS.

and conspicuous animals are naturally those that first attract the Naturalist's attention ; and in Britain none, after the Vertebrates, are larger and, in the sea, more conspicuous than Crabs and Lobsters. Every child of enquiring mind is eager to know all about the denizens of wave-washed coasts and the rocks that so often fringe them : I myself was asking such questions in 1877, though on the south and not east coast of England. T h e profusion of kinds to be met with varies a good deal with the geology of the sea-line, for shelter is an essential attribute to the lives of these creatures and, if they do not possess the horsesense (which I deny them) of choosing a safe retreat from their legions of enemies, they must be exterminated despite extraordinary powers of reproduction. Shelter is afforded mainly by rocks, good hard stone interspersed with many fissures and crannies, wherein they can retreat to safety. Until quite recently our Suffolk shore has been regarded with no small scorn in this respect: a nearly straight line, bottomed by little but shifting sands, opening at a half-dozen points into estuaries, bottomed by nothing firmer than mud. Surely all self-respecting Crabs would elevate their (supposititious) noses at such a home ! But Neptune is remorseless ; he will have his waters inhabited and aptly hygiened. So Crabs were washed by some undertow from their fissures and crannies in the south-west, swept by ocean currents east and north tili dumped upon our coast. Off Bawdsey, indeed, they do find some apology for their erstwhile rocks in the indurated London Clay of the beach, coated by a thin sheet of Alga:; elsewhere all the Suffolk shore is simply sand, and shelter to be found solely around such extraneous objects as piers, breakwaters and foreign matter lying on the North Sea bed. LARGE

Both Crustacea and Tracheata belong to the Arthropoda and the former includes a large number of British species, though approaching to nothing like our fifteen thousand Insects of the ' a t t e r - Crustacea are primarily divided into Malacostraca and kntomostraca, such as the water-fleas (Phyllopoda and Ostracoda), into the Copepods comprising many Carp- and other lice, and into the well-known Barnacles (Cirrhipedia). Malacostraca consist, besides our stalk-eyed Crabs, Lobsters and Shrimps, of the sessile-eyed Amphipoda and Isopoda along with the bivaivesnelled Leptostraca. ^ ith this large mass of animals to deal with, it is well to present o n c e t}l e sole group of which our Suffolk knowledge is yet at adequate. Indeed, so ill-adapted is the character of our coast JE


266

THE CRUSTACEA

OF SUFFOLK.

that odd stragglers alone seem likely to swell that half (50 kinds) of the British (113 species of) Podophthalma which has been hitherto recorded, in so scattered a manner that their assembling has been no light task though it is hoped to be complete in the following correlated summary. Sub-class

MALACOSTRACA.

Division PODOPHTHALMA BRACHYURA

(Stalk-eyed).

(Short-tailed).

1. Macropodia rostrata, Linn. Long-legged Spider-crab.— Rarely noticed ; occasionally brought in by the Southvvold fishingboats (Morley). One, taken in trawl there during 1924, I kept ahve in an aquarium where it decorated its back with small fragments of Seaweed, which were very deliberately arranged by its great claws (Collings). 2. M. tenuirostris, Lch. Slender Spider-crab.—Dredged from twenty-three fathoms to south-east of Yarmouth (Metzger, Jahresb. com. zur Wiss. Untersuch, der Deut. Meeres in Kiel 1875, p. 294). 3. Hyas araneus, Linn. Common Spider-crab.—Lowestoft north beach (Stebbing); several dead on Yarmouth beach on 6 January 1909 (Tr. Norf. Nat. Soc. ix, p. 80). Not infrequently at tide-line alive, throughout our coast: Bawdsey, Gorleston, Corton, Dunwich, Southwold, Aldeburgh; and abundant at Sizewell in April 1933 (Trans, ii, p. lxxxiv). 4. Maia squinado, Hbst. Spinous Spider-crab—Yarmouth Deep, trawled in twenty-three fathoms (Trans, i, p. lxxxv); one on Bawdsey beach, 5 March 1933 (I.e. ii, p. Ixxvii); one, the first known here, of 2 0 | ounces was trawled by a shrimper just off Lowestoft on 11 October 1934 (F. C. Cook). 5. Xantho hydrophila, Hbst. Risso's Crab.—The first was brought in to Yarmouth by a shrimp-boat on 14 May 1906, ' a hairy stout-built fellow with enormously developed pincer claws, exceedingly sluggish ' ; after that date many, ranging in size from a horse-bean to a large walnut, followed from the same source (Tr. Norf. Soc. viii, p. 463). 6. Cancer Pagurus, Linn. Common Edible-crab.—Not commonly washed on shore : Yarmouth beach, dead (Tr. Norf. Soc. ix, 80); Aldeburgh ; the market-supply at Lowestoft is not especially plentiful (Vict. Hist.). Not uncommoniy taken, of small or medium size, at Southwold in trawls and from the pier on hook and line (Collings); Gorleston, Bawdsey, etc. [Occurs fossil in CCrag at Gedgrave and RCrag at Foxhall, Butley, etc. (Trans, i, p. 116).]


THE CRUSTACEA OF SUFFOLK.

267

7. Pilumnus hirtellus, Linn. Hairy Ross-crab.—Rarely on Gorleston breakwater ; and a male that came ashore at Gorleston on 2 March 1933 (Trans, i, p. 226 and ii, p. 174). 8. Carcinus Mcenas, Penn. Harbour Crab.—By far the commonest Suffolk species, occurring everywhere down our coast from Breydon Water where it is locally called ' Kittiwitch' (Trans. Norf. Soc. xii, p. 551) and Lake Lothing (Stebbing); also in every brackish ditch. [Occurs fossil in Red Crag.] 9. Portumnus variegatus, Lch. Pennant's Swimming-crab.— First captured in Breydon Water during June 1906 (Tr. Norf. Soc. viii, p. 465); occurs rarely at Gorleston (Trans, i, 226 and ii, p. lxxvii). 10. Portunus puber, Linn. Velvet Swimming-crab.—Two large specimens, now in the Museum there, were taken in a shrimptrawl at Southwold during August 1934 (Collings). The first Norfolk specimen was brought in to Yarmouth by a shrimper during September 1910 (Tr. Norf. Soc. ix, p. 196). [Occurs fossil in Red Crag.] [P. corrugatus, Penn. Wrinkled Swimming-crab.—Hitherto known in Suffolk only as a fossil in Red Crag. Still living in Britain.] 11. P. arcuatus, Lch. Arch-fronted Swimming-crab.—-One washed ashore dead at Bawdsey on 24 March 1934 (Trans, ii, p. cli). 12. P. depurator, Linn. Cleanser Swimming-crab.—Not uncommon on the beach ; Gorleston in March 1933 and Kessingland in March 1934 (Trans, ii, pp. lxxvii and cxlviii); trawled commonly at Southwold in Sept. 1929; Sizewell, etc. [Occurs fossil in Red Crag.] 13. P. marmoreus, Lch. Marbled Swimming-crab.—Probably not uncommon, but often mistaken for the last species; I have a couple brought in to Southwold by fishing-boats in July 1902 (Morley); Dunwich and Sizewell (Trans, ii, pp. lxxix-xxxiv). 14. P. holsatus, Fab. Livid Swimming-crab.—The first Norfolk examples were brought in to Yarmouth by shrimp-boats in October 1906, and confirmed by Dr. Boulenger at Brit. Mus. (Trans. Norf. Soc. viii, p. 468). [Gonoplax rhomboides, L.=angulata, Fab.—Known in our County solely as a fossil occurring in the Red Crag. Still living in Britain. Ebalia tuberosa, Penn. Pennant's Ebalia.—Known in our County solely as a fossil occurring in the Red Crag. Still living m Britain.]


268

THE CRUSTACEA OF SUFFOLK.

15. E. tumifacta, Mont. Bryer's Ebalia.—Taken in twentythree fathoms to the east-south-east of Yarmouth (Metzger on Nordseefahrt in Jahresb. Untersuch. Deut. Meeres in Kiel 1875 p. 294). 16. E. Cranchi, Lch. Cranch's Ebalia.—Taken by the German investigators with the last species, but to the south-east of Yarmouth (lib. cit.). 17. Corystes Cassivelaunus, Penn. Masked Crab.—A fine female in shrimp-boat at Yarmouth on 17 March 1904 (Tr. Norf. Soc. viii, p. 111). Gorleston ; Dunwich in March 1933 (Trans, i, p. 225 and ii, p. lxxix); Bawdsey. Two specimens, in the Museum there, were taken in trawl at Southwold during 1933 and kept alive in an aquarium, where they spent most of their time buried in sand with only the ends of their antenna; protruding (Collings). Never seems to occur commonly. MACRURA

(Long-tailed).

18. Eupagurns Bernhardus, Linn. Common Hermit-crab.— Abundant throughout our coast in shells of Buccinum undatum, Litorina litorea, etc. (and in Mediterranean in those of Monodonta crassa.—Morley) ; [also occurs fossil in Red Crag;] but inadequately differentiated from the other eight British spp. of this genus, some of which doubtless are to be found with us. 19. Ana leevis, Thomp. Smooth Hermit-crab.—On 28 March 1904 the first example, that I have met with here, was taken in a shrimp-net; it was inhabiting the shell of Murex [Ocinebra] erinaceus at Yarmouth (Tr. Norf. Soc. viii, p. 112). Needs confirmation as Suffolcian. 20. Porcellana longicornis, Penn. Minute Porcelain Crab.— One female was taken by me in a shrimp-trawl at Southwold during 1923, and is now in the Museum there (Collings). I have persistently searched vainly for both species of this genus among Seaweeds on London Clay at Bawdsey (Morley). 21. Dromia vulgaris, Edw. Sponge Crab.—There is one splendid specimen of this species in the Norwich Museum that is labelled, without date, as having been taken ' off Lowestoft' (CM. there, Oct. 1930). 22. Galathea squamifera, Lch. Scaly Galathea.—Brought up from twenty-three fathoms to south-east of Yarmouth (Metzger in 1875, ut supra). One, inches long, taken with shrimps just south of Gorleston pier on 26 September 1934 (P. E. Rumbelow). 23. G. strigosa, Linn. Spinous Galathea.—A spirit-specimen from the ' North S e a ' in H.M. Lowestoft Laboratory (Trans, ii, p. xxxiii). Needs confirmation as Suffolcian.


THE CRUSTACEA OF

SUFFOLK.

269

24. G. intermedia, Lillj. Intermediate Galathea.—Brought up along with G. squamifera above (Metzger). 25. Axitis stirhynchus, Lch. Small Lobster.—On 31 July 1913 I obtained a full-grown example, the first of its kind I have known to be taken off this coast: of Yarmouth (Tr. Norf. Soc. vii, p. 728). Needs confirmation as Suffolcian. 26. Potamobius pallidipes, Ler.=Astacus fluviatilis, Rond. River Crayfish.—In the Gipping at Stowmarket and formerly in the Waveney near Yarmouth (Vict. Hist.). Abundant in the former at Ipswich circa 1905 and still occurs there ; once in the Orwell at Onehouse ; one in the Bat at Badley in 1932 ; none in the Brett; several in the Deben near Easton circa 1915; still common in both the Gipping at Needham Market and the Stour at Cläre (Trans, ii, pp. 80, 174 and lxxvii). I have the species from Cambs. (Collings); for Norfolk, cf. T r . Norf. Soc. xii, p. 261. 27. Astacus gammarus, L i n n . = H o m a r u s vulgaris, Edw. T h e Lobster.—Never found washed u p whole, though lobster-pots are common enough and productive commercially.* Taken in trawl, and caught on rod and line, at Southwold (Collings). Nephtops Norvegicus, Linn. Rock-lobster.—Common on the British south and west coasts, but ours seem all imported from Scandinavia. ' Several sacks from the North Sea were brought to the warf ' at Yarmouth on 25 August 1900 ; and ' larger numbers were brought to Yarmouth in 1905 than ever before ' (Tr. Norf. Nat. Soc. vii, p. 181 and viii, p. 319). Constantly brought into Lowestoft in hundreds by the North Sea trawlers (Doughty). A merely introduced commodity with us. T h e species emits a stridulating noise by rubbing the second antennal joint upon a part of carapace. Tribe

CARIDEA

(Shrimps).

Yangon vulgaris, Fab. T h e Common Brown Shrimp.— L mquitous, though less abundant than the Pink Shrimp, all down our coast on sandy bottoms. Swarms in Breydon Water ( T r . Norf. Soc. viii, 463 and xii, 561); the commonest shrimp at bouthwold (Collings). 8

T-U- '

r * u e f ° I ? t h e 1 9 1 4 w a r > t h e A c t ümiting the size of both Lobsters and d for sale w a s enforced on the \ !rki Norfolk (and Suffolk ?) coast. cdlb e . - Crustacean should be more plentiful and cheap than Lobsters, ince each ' hen ' yields some 25,000 eggs per year : yet a Lobster usually M°7 \ , c r o w n - Fishermen accepted the Act limiting the saleable \'h' h l f e s P e c i e s > hut it failed to protect the ' berried hens,' upon is lr 6 . r e s u PP}y depends. Hence waste caused by their capture ' a P P a " ' n g : it was given in evidence that between twelve and twenty r Junds of Lobster spawn were sold to cooks from a Single shop in under ortnight. Such prodigality would have added well nigh two million ""-grown Lobsters to the national commissariat!

-


270

THE CRUSTACEA OF SUFFOLK.

29. Pomtophilm spinosus, Lch. Spinous Shrimp.—Firs occurred in Norfolk to the Yarmouth shrimp-boats on 9 June 1906 : ' the red spots and characteristic white band on fourth segment, added to the short second legs, are unmistakable ' (Tr. Norf. Soc. viii, p. 464). Kessingland, May 1934. 30. Cheraphilus trispinosus, Hail. Three-spined Shrimp Brought up from twenty-two fathoms to the south-east of Yarmouth (Metzger 1875, ut supra). 31. C. nanus, Kröy.=bispinosus, Westw. Two-spined Shrimp.—Brought up with the last species. 32. Nika edulis, Riss.—Observed to be occurring freely in the Yarmouth shrimp-nets during June 1906 (Tr. Norf. Soc. vm, p. 465), and doubtless later. 33. Hippolyte Spina, Sow. Sowerby's Hippolyte.—The first Norfolk example was brought in to Yarmouth by a shnmp-boat on 26 February 1906 (I.e. 461). Needs confirmation as Suffolcian. 34. H. varians, Lch.=fasciigera, Goss. Vary ing HippolyteThese names are synonymised by Metzger (in 1875, ut supra, p. 305), who records the species from sixteen fathoms to the south-east of Yarmouth. 35. H. Thompsoni, Bell. Thompson's Hippolyte—The first Norfolk example was brought in to Yarmouth by shrimp-boat during 1906 (Tr. Norf. Soc. viii, p. 461). Needs confirmation as Suffolcian. 36. IL pandaliformis, Bell. Recorded from EAnglia only from a shrimp-boat that brought it into Yarmouth during 1906 (I.e.). No specific Suffolk notice. 37. Spirontocaris Cranchi, Lch. Cranch's Hippolyte — ' A short, stuggy little creature' that occurred plentifully at Yarmouth during 1906 (I.e., p. 464). 38. S. pusiola, Kröy.—Brought up from twenty-three fathoms to the south-east of Yarmouth (Metzger 1875 ut supra, p. 286). 39. Pandalus Montagui, Lch.=annulicornis, Lch. Common ' Pink' Shrimp.—" It is used at Yarmouth as an article of food and is, at that place, so much esteemed for the table as to afford constant employment during the summer season to several fishermen, who take it in abundance at a considerable distance from the shore and name it the sea-shrimp " (Leach in Podoph. Brit. 1815). Especialy large catches were made there in 190S-V , and a speeimen whose ' carapace was covered with a somewhat compact form of Acorn Barnacle' taken on 13 May 1901 (i r. Norf Soc. viii, 755 and ix, 80 and vii, 395). Abundant in the Stour in 1895 (Vict. Hist.). In profusion all down our coast, e.g. off Southwold in September 1929 (Trans, i, p. xv), as lxxxll! well as in brackish ditches, e.g. in Herringfleet marshes (I.e. 11, pand beside the Orweü at Wherstead.


THE CRUSTACEA OF SUFFOLK.

271

40. P. brevirostris, Rath— Brought up from twenty-three fathoms to south-east of Yarmouth (Metzger 1875 ut supra, p. 289). 41. Leander serratus, Penn. Common Prawn.—Much mixed with the above kinds. Taken at Southwold in 1903 (in coli. Morley) and later in trawl there (Collings); a fine specimen found in Breydon Water, a most unusual locality, on 17 April 1906 (Tr. Norf. Soc. viii, p. 462). 42. L. sqailla, Linn. White Prawn.—Found only on the shore between tide-marks ; I have seen specimens taken in Lowestoft harbour (I.e. xi, 1922, p. 312 ; pace viii, p. 463). Often captured in Breydon Water (Patterson's Nat. ENorf. 334). 43. L. longirostris, Edw. Jack Prawn.—Abundant at certain times as an estuarine and river species in Oulton Broad and Breydon Water; also taken in the Waveney: New to Britain (Tr. Norf. Soc. xi, 1922, p. 311). The watcher there trawled some pints of Crustaceans, including these Prawns, Sand Shrimps and Palsemonetes varians, in Breydon Water on 22 May 1906 and eat the ' promiscous lot' (I.e. viii, p. 463). This is considered the most interesting of local river-Crustacea (I.e. xii, p. 561 ; it is the new British L. squilla of Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 9, viii, p. 650 and PZS. 1923, p. 97). 44. Palamon Leachi, Bell. Leach's Prawn.—ThefirstNorfolk record is that of four specimens brought in by shrimp-boats to Yarmouth, all on 13 July 1906 (Tr. Norf. Soc. viii, p. 466). 45. Palamonetes varians, Lch. Ditch Prawn.—Found in the Waveney as far up as Oulton Broad and in Breydon Water (I.e. 431). It makes itself at home in water that is quite fresh, as well as in the sea (Vict. Hist. 156). 46. Gastrosaccus sanetus, Ben. Cleft-footed Shrimp.— Brought up from sixteen fathoms to south-east of Yarmouth (Metzger 1875 ut supra, 289). 47. Siriella armata, Edw.—One specimen, cast up among Hydroids, on Lowestoft north beach in May 1907 (Stebbing in Vict. Hist. 157). 48. Mysis inermis, Rath.—Brought up from sixteen fathoms to south-east of Yarmouth (Metzger 1875 ut supra, 288). 49. M. Chamceleon, Thomp. Graceful Shrimp.—Has been found in brackish water at Burgh Castle and in other marshes around Gorleston (Ellis). Gregariously plentiful in brackish water at Benacre decoy close to the coast on 14 September 1929, along with the insects Corixa hieroglyphica, Duf. and Noterus clavicornis, DeG. (Morley). 50. M. vulgaris, Thomp. Very numerous specimens found infishing-boats,brought into Kessingland on 12 May 1934: doubtless quite common, but hitherto overlooked like so many kinds of our smaller Podophthalma.

The Crustacea of Suffolk: Part 1, Podopthalma  
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