Liverpool Museum, 9th February 2020

Pyjama Cardinalfish Sphaeramia nematoptera

It was the day of Storm Ciara, with high winds, gusty rain showers and weather warnings. It was too risky to go anywhere near a park, where there might be falling trees, and we didn’t fancy dodging high waves on  the coast, so we played safe and went into the World Museum for a look in their Aquarium. They have some tropical fish, but they mostly specialise in species that can be found in local waters, like dogfish and wrasse. One tank had skates, rays and these Lesser-spotted Dogfish (aka Small-spotted Catshark) Scyliorhinus canicula, which live in shallow water all around the British coastline. We often see their egg cases thrown up on local beaches.

They have a few of the lovely Moon Jellyfish Aurelia aurita, wafting lazily around their tank. The signage said they live in the Albert Dock and we often see them stranded on local beaches.

The best treat was a Short-snouted Seahorse Hippocampus hippocampus. It looked like there was only one in the tank, clinging to some vegetation which it exactly matched. The camouflage was so good, that there could have been more hiding somewhere. This one was tiny, perhaps 2 or 3 inches long (about 7 cm), but it could have been longer if its tail was uncurled. The caption didn’t say it was local, but they are British, found off the south coast and the Channel Islands.

We had a quick look around the Egypt exhibition, where we learned how to write Liverpool in hieroglyphics, then had lunch and headed home early.

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