Prairie of spiral tube-worms at Archi
In the stretch of sea off a beach in the northern outskirts of Reggio Calabria, in the locality known as “Archi”, a wide expanse of fine white sand is the home for a large number of invertebrates and fishes.
The site is ideal for both daily and night dives and never disappoints fans of underwater photography and of marine biology.
The entry in the water, from the shore, it’s very comfortable, from a small descend for hauling the local fishermen boats. The seabed slopes steeply to the depths of the Strait of Messina and makes it easier to reach a bathymetric of 30/40 m, few steps from the coastline.
Strolling in the fine sandy sediment, we find large specimens of tub gurnards (Chelidonichthys lucernus) and lizard fishes (Synodus saurus), with some stargazers (Uranoscopus scaber) and many mullets (Mullus surmuletus). Little red scorpionfishes of different species, turbots and common soles live there, with different preferences for sandy or pebbly areas.
What really excites the divers, however, is the dense “prairie” of large spiral tube-worms (Sabella spallanzanii) that, from 5 m to 20-25 m depth, makes the bottom alive: isolated or collected in huge “bouquet”, these fascinating polychaete annelids, leave their tufts swaying and create “fireworks” on the bottom. Moreover, got used to the strong currents of the Strait of Messina, they don’t retract immediately their tufts during the passage of the divers, allowing them a good observation and to take many pictures.
At the base of the tubes of the numerous worms there are mollusks such as octopus, squids, sea hares and colorful sea slugs, and it’s possible to meet large specimens of seahorse (Hippocampus). Frequently there are also shoals of longspine snipefishes (Macroramphosus scolopax), rare elsewhere.
|Place||In the outskirts of Reggio, in a place called “Archi”|
|Dive type||From the shore|
|Bottom type||Escarpment with sand and debris|
|Depth (min/max)||5/50 m|
|Currents||Current moderate or occasionally strong|
|Dive Path||Roundtrip parallel to the coast|
|Biodiversity||High diversity of species typical of sandy bottom|
|Peculiarities||Dense “prairie” of spiral tube-worms, large specimens of seahorses (Hippocampus guttulatus), shoals of longspine snipefishes (Macroramphosus scolopax)|