I removed a few rocks and scraped at the sandstone until I found a crack, then dug down. Not far; an inch or two, and I'd hit pavement again. I found three tiny clams and disturbed a swimmer, probably an isopod. Nothing more, except the snails, crabs, and hermits that don't mind hard floors.
When the water had cleared a bit, I took a few photos, hoping to find something too small to see there on the beach. But the camera found no worms, no soft critters, no sea urchins. Just one tiny hermit crab.
A hermit that I haven't been able to identify.
|Hermit, as found. I've cleaned up the background a bit; the water was still full of debris. And I deleted garbage floating over the shell. But the hermit is untouched, except for lighting.|
This hermit was in a shell about 1/4 inch long. He has greenish banded antennae, red/brown eye stalks, with a white vertical stripe, red "flags" with a white base. His pincers are dark, with whitish stripes. I think the white stripes on either side of his head are on his "shoulders". And the eyes seem to be patterned in a spiral or a double circle.
I've spent the evening searching for a match. The little greenmark hermit, often seen on these beaches, has red, unbanded antennae; the hairy has those green antennae, but he's a dull brown or green everywhere else, except for blue spots on his knees. I've looked at every one in the BC E-Fauna gallery and read descriptions; none are like this guy.
Compare to a couple of typical small hermits from my tank:
|These I've never been able to identify reliably. Pale, banded antennae, orange and white legs. A very small hermit. They may darken to black and white. Not red.|
Does anyone recognize this? Is he just another colour morph of the hairy hermit, maybe?