Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Experts Were Just As Astonished As I Was!

I've heard back from the experts and they find my discovery of inter-species mating of these two different nudibranchs just as amazing as I do. Neville Coleman said he definitely wanted it for his new book on nudibranchs, and he also wanted some shots of the Halgerda johnsonorum alone, as it has not been a very widely photographed nudibranch up to now. There are several hundred shots of it now, all on my computer. And I also heard back from Dr. Bill Rudman on the Sea Slug Forum. Here is what Bill had to say, "By definition animals of different species are not supoosed to mate. I have had some doubts about some of the species of Halgerda described in recent years but these two species seemed quite distinct from one another with little evidence of intermediate colour forms. All I can say is keep a look out for possible intermediates and for more matings across the apparent species barrier. Best Wishes, Bill Rudman"

So now the key is to keep an eye out for Halgerda nudibranchs in the Grotto that don't fit any of the previously described color forms or patterns, as that may be the offspring of the johnsonorum and the guahan. I asked Bill what you got when you mated one with the other, he thought it sounded like the beginning of a joke. I think you may just get the Halgerda Blalockii. You know I'll be keeping a very close eye on the situation to see what comes of it. And to those other of you who dive the Grotto regularly and take pictures of the nudibranchs, please let me know if you run across anything different in the coming days. I find this absolutely exciting, it's like exploring a new frontier and you just never know what you'll stumble into next. I know I promised turtle stories and pictures today. I won't break my promise, but I'll make that another post so it's not so long.


Mike Ernest said...

I have a feeling you're going to discover a new sea snot and they'll name it after you.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I'm just as excited by your observations Harry. Great shots!