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You are here:   Habitats > Beach rock

Habitats

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Species from the Beach rock at Heron Island:
Red-eyed Rock Crab
Eriphia sebana
Red-eyed Rock Crab
Andrew Taylor
Chiton
Acanthopleura gemmata
Chiton
Chrissa Athousis
Leptoplanid Flatworm
Leptoplanidae
Leptoplanid Flatworm
Guy Freeman
Furrowed Clusterwink
Planaxis sulcatus
Furrowed Clusterwink
Terence Tan
Warratah Anemone
Actinia tenebrosa
Warratah Anemone
Yiwen Yvonne Low
Starry Bornella nudibranch
Bornella stellifer
Starry Bornella nudibranch
Jason Sheehan
Lion
Euapta godeffroyi
Lion's Paw Sea Cucumber
Megan Permyakoff
Ridged Sponge Crab
Stimdromia lateralis
Ridged Sponge Crab
Cherie Chan
Topshell
Trochus stellatus
Topshell
Patricia Galvao Santos Reis
Colonial Sea Squirt
Ecteinascidia diaphanis
Colonial Sea Squirt
Victoria Dewar-Fowler

Beach rock

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A belt of beach rock surrounds the southern and northwestern sides of Heron Island. The rock is composed primarily of compressed algal and coral skeletons. Although the amount of exposed beach rock can vary from year to year, according the weather patterns and conditions, on the southern side it can be over 20 m wide. On this side, the beach rock can be divided into three bands, each with a different dominant invertebrate fauna. The upper zone consists of rock rubble and slabs that are inhabited by a variety of clustering gastropods, swift crabs, hermit crabs, anemones and amphipods. The middle band consists of hard rock an home to a large chiton, a number of gastropods and crabs. The lower, smooth region tends to be devoid of conspicuous invertebrates, although molluscs and crabs from the sandy zone can be observed in this area.



Heron Island beach rock. Images provided by Sandie Degnan.