Year 7 - 9 students (with the support of the year 12 Marine Science students) from Wentworth College have been busy this year completing multiple Mm2 surveys on the rocky platforms of Tindalls Beach, Auckland. They have sent multiple photos of unidentified species to Mm2 in hope of getting some more information as to what they are looking at.
Prior to the recent COVID-19 lockdown, year 8 students found an "alien creature" hidden amongst some neptune's necklace (Hormosira banksii). Apparently there were many squeals upon finding this creature. Thought to be a grey-gilled sea slug (Pleurobranchea maculata), it was confirmed to be a black-ringed or spotted sea hare (Aplysia argus). This sea hare is the most common sea hare species around the northeast of New Zealand and is one of the largest sea slug species to be found on the intertidal in New Zealand! Read more about it on our database here.
This week, Wentworth College have made the most of the good weather and headed back to the shore. This time, they found a huge collection of eggs! But who did they belong to? These eggs are from the oyster borer snail (Haustrum scobina) which can lay (on average) 235 eggs in EACH dome shaped capsule. That is a lot of eggs! Eggs will have after 7-10 weeks. Interestingly, this is not the first time we have been asked this question and there is an older entry under our 'Community Stories' about another Auckland school finding these eggs. So keep an eye out as these snails (and their eggs) can be found throughout the North Island. We also received a photo of a beautiful fan-worm in a tidal pool. Unfortunately this looks like the Mediterranean fan-worm (Sabella spallanzanii) which is a marine pest. They have been profiled on our Facebook page here. Want to know more about marine pests? Head to our resource page about them.
The marine studies co-ordinator at Wentworth College is "a huge advocate of the MMsquared (sic) and how it is opening windows into the marine environment for our students". Wentworth College will be participating in the Hauraki Gulf Monitoring project this year. You can find out about it on a new section on our website under 'Get Involved' here. Remember if you see something you are unsure about, email us a photo of it and a description of where you found it.
The Marine Metre Squared website, mm2.net.nz, is a citizen-science project and is owned and managed by the NZ Marine Studies Centre, University of Otago. Content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial–ShareAlike license, unless otherwise stated.