All illustrations by Dan Cole/The Art Agency
Long-spined sea scorpion Taurulus bubalis (above)
Body length: up to 18cm. ‘Bug’ eyes, a large, toad-like head and spiny gill covers. Often hides among seaweed.
Shanny Lipophrys pholis
Also called common blenny. Body length: up to 16cm. Blunt head and a long dorsal fin. Hides in crevices.
Common prawn Palaemon serratus
Body length: up to 11cm. Transparent body with fine brown markings. Darts into crevices and seaweed.
Shore crab Carcinus maenas
Shell diameter: up to 8cm. The shell has five ‘teeth’ on each side below the eye. Colour variable, but mostly green.
Common hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus
Body length: up to 3cm. Lives inside empty spiral shells, from winkles to whelks; the crab itself is red-orange.
Common starfish Asterias rubens
Legspan: up to 30cm, but rockpool specimens are usually smaller. Five limbs are orange with paler stipples.
Beadlet anemone Actinia equina
Tentacle length: up to 7cm. Red, brown or green. Tentacles retract into body when exposed at low tide.
Snakelocks anemone Anemone viridis
Tentacle length: up to 18cm. Long green tentacles that seldom retract. In lower pools that never dry out.
Common limpet Patella vulgata
Shell diameter: up to 6cm. Attaches firmly to rocks, creating ‘home scars’. Leaves at high tide to graze algae.
Dog whelk Nucella lapillus
Shell height: up to 4cm. Has a thick rim to the shell mouth. Carnivorous, boring into mussels and barnacles.
Grey top shell Gibbula cineraria
Shell height: up to 1.5cm. Greyish, conical shell with fine reddish or purple markings. In lower pools.
Common mussel Mytilus edulis
Shell length: up to 10cm. Flattened, oval, bluish-black shell. Lives in tightly clustered colonies on rocks.