Intertidal Rocky Reefs

Intertidal rocky reef at Barwon Bluff

Rocky reefs that are exposed at low tide are great places to explore as there are many animals and several plants that can survive out of the water for some time. These rocky shore communities are quite variable across Victoria. Intertidal communities differ depending on the level of exposure to waves, the rock type and its weathering, the presence of rockpools, crevices, and boulders, and the presence or absence of predators.

Rocky reefs provide marine animals with crevices, caves and ledges to use as a place to hide. Nocturnal fish and crustaceans use these dark areas during the day to protect themselves from predators and over-exposure to sunlight.

Animals found on rocky reefs include Shore Crabs (Paragrapsus quadridentatus), Common Seastar (Meridiastra calcar), Blue Periwinkle (Nodolittorina unifasciata) and Smooth Limpet (Cellana tramoserica). Neptune’s Necklace (Homosira banksii) is a common plant found in this habitat.