A distinctive species of hermit crab, never previously recorded in Newquay, has been found living near one of the town’s most popular beaches.
The tiny crab, measuring only a few millimetres in length, was spotted near Towan Headland during a survey by Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s marine experts.
This is the first time the species has been found locally, with the nearest-known population found further north near Padstow.
This sighting of a St Piran’s Crab in Newquay follows the species’ rediscovery in Cornwall in March 2016.
The first was found by a volunteer taking part in a Cornwall Wildlife Trust public Shoresearch survey in Falmouth, after a 50-year absence in the Duchy!
Once common on Cornwall’s south coast, the St Piran’s Crab virtually disappeared after the Torrey Canyon Spill of 1967.
After its rediscovery, local BBC Springwatch presenter Gillian Burke was invited by the Trust to see the reg-legged creature.
Following a hugely popular national vote on the TV show, it was aptly named the ‘St Piran’s Crab’ after Cornwall’s Patron Saint.
The Trust’s recent sighting in Newquay was made whilst testing out a new recording app ahead of Shoresearch Week 2021.
Now in its 10th year, the annual citizen science event involves volunteers recording the marine life and habitats found at all five of Cornwall’s Voluntary Marine Conservation Areas (VMCAs), with an aim to monitor change on the shore.
You can find out more about Shoresearch Cornwall on the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Website.
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