Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another New Nudibranch

If you ever see me underwater and I'm stuck in one spot, taking picture after picture of something that you can't even see, it probably means I've found a nudibranch and I'm happily snapping away. I've learned that even if I think I've seen the nudibranch before, I still need to take a bunch of pictures of it, because there are a bunch of nudibranchs that all look very similar, and honestly I can't tell the difference. Such was the case with the nudibranch pictured above. I saw it on our Mother's Day dive at Lau Lau. It looked like several other nudibranchs I've seen countless times, Phyllidia elegans, Phyllidia madagensis, etc. But I took several dozen pictures anyway, because you just never know. I always submit all nudibranchs I find to the website, and say "I don't know" for the ID, I figure I'll let them determine what it is and let me know. That's exactly what I did with this guy, only to find out it was a brand new nudibranch for me, it's a Phyllidia tula. So I was quite excited when I found that out.I did the same thing with this nudibranch I posted several days ago that I found on a Grotto night dive. It turns out I have found one of these one time before. I was at about 105' at Lau Lau and I turned over a big rock, and there he was, stuck to the bottom of it. The one at Lau Lau was all bunched up and not elongated like this one, but it is the same thing Dendrodoris elongata. But thanks to Erwin Kodiat at nudipixel, I got a positive ID on it and now know what it is. I am keeping all the different species of nudibranchs I come across filed in their own gallery on my smugmug online picture gallery at You can go there and click on the nudibranch gallery to see all the various species I've come across so far.And I was quite excited when I came across this Glossodoris tibeoli at Lau Lau on Mother's Day as well. It's only the 3rd one I've ever seen, and it was a great specimen just crawling along on a rock, so I got a bunch of very good pictures of it. I'm turning into some kind of a freak though, the second I saw it, I was thinking, Awesome - Glossodoris tibeoli, yup, I even had the latin name on the tip of my tongue. Most divers just swim right by these guys never seeing them or giving them a second look, but I think they're quite fascinating if you spend some time just observing them. I'm getting ready to place an order to buy some of Neville Coleman's Nudibranch Encyclopedia which has just recently been published, and contains about 20 of my nudibranch shots in it. I'll be getting it for quite a bit less than the advertised price as I'll be buying in bulk and he's offering me a price break as a contributor, so if you'd like a copy, please contact me and let me know, and I'll get back to you with the price I can get it for. And if you'd like to see what it's like before commiting to buying one, just let me know, I have a copy you're welcome to check out first.