Rocky shore species identification
  • Last updated:
  • 05 Aug 2022

The following information and brochure was produced in partnership with Coolum and North Shore Coast Care.

Marvel at the magic of life among the rocks

Rocky shore species identification sheet[2653KB]

Tiny helpless creatures live
In pools beside the sea
They have the right to live their lives
The same as you and me.

So when you meet these wondrous things
Just think of this short poem
Don’t plunder, smash and kill these friends,
Please leave them in their home.

A rich variety of marine life can be found along the rocky shores between Caloundra and Double Island Point. Overlapping ocean currents, from north and south, allow tropical and temperate species to live here in abundance.

All foreshore species are interlinked so the removal of any species, or even a decline in its population, has a domino effect, bringing the whole intricate structure of the foreshore ecosystem crashing down. If everyone takes their own little bit of it home the variety of marine life we see today, along the rocky shores, will disappear. You can help to preserve this diverse treasure.

  • Take a camera or notepad to record what you find, don’t take these treasures home.
  • Small fragile animals live under rocks and inside shells. These tiny creatures can be damaged or killed by disturbance. If you do pick up a rock or shell, replace it very carefully exactly as you found it.
  • Watch out for cone shells, they can shoot small venomous darts which hurt you.
  • Beware of blue-ringed octopus, it is very dangerous. It looks quite dull when at rest, but if disturbed bright blue rings appear round its tentacles as a warning.
  • Leave empty shells for the hermit crabs to use as homes. When they grow too large for their shell home they must find a larger empty shell to move into.
  • Collect any litter you find, take it home with you or put in the bins provided.