Small, beautiful, elegant but dangerous. Mostly we (ai Alexander Schepens #divertothecore ) are finding this nudibranch along the islands of Racha Yai and Racha Noi in Phuket Thailand.
This relatively small nembrothid is growing to about 20-25mm in length. Characterised by the orange longitudinal lines which are sometimes quite onscure. These lines consist of a series of glandular pits which secrete a bright orange substance when disturbed. This species is a member of a genus which hunts down and eats other opisthobranchs. The large oral tentacles (arrowed) are found in all members of Roboastra and are probably important in tracking down their prey, perhaps by following its mucus trail. Some variants have iso of orange rather yellow stripes.
The two lovely dudes I had the honor and pleasure photographing a few years ago are also know as the Gymnodoris rubropapulosa.
The are in fact pretty aggressive even though they look very “amicable” and tender in their rozy outfit. They are eating their friends and swallow them completely as recently reported on Nudipixel.
That day on 2012 they were exchanging semen. Both partners are both male and female at the same time. They are “toe to tail 69” and as they are working through this you see clearly in the picture how their bodies are lighting up. The picture on the left was simply taken with the same settings as the one above but from a slightly bigger distance (and then cropped out a bit)….illustrating that the exchange of life is indeed like a “lightening moment in life”.
The “gils” of the nudi’s are the “brainlike” structures. The gils are her partly retracted. They are also called “anal gils” as they are centered around the anal part of the Nudi’s at the back end of their boddies.
As I was watching nature in front of my lens both partners moved on…..
A little something I wrote on the 30th of October.
#tbt halloween – selfie with the cops
“I’ve just had the most mesmerising day. After only having slept for two and a half hours because there was a Halloween party the night before, we headed towards the Great Wall. And no, not the touristy bit, but the ruins. First 40 min on the subway, then an hour and a half on a bus (that we got scammed off of haha we got woken up and we thought the driver was saying we already arrived… They were just guys that wanted to drive us there instead hah so we just took the next bus 😉 ) Anyways, after the bus ride we had another hour and a half cab ride to the middle of nowhere. We walked up to part of the wall where we could get on. It’s almost literally…
The ovate bodies of the members of this nudibranch family are covered with dorsal tubercles and ridges. the rhinophores and the gills are retractable and mostly white with dark brown to black lines. Members of this genus are oval in shape with the mantle overlaying the foot. They feed normally on sponges creating often a nice background for underwater photographers. There are a lot of species already named but if anything there are still quite some of them out there not named at all. Do you want to take on the challenge and eternalise your name with one of these beauties baring your name ?
All my pictures are taken in Phuket and Similan Islands. Friends informed me that they also got some nice shots from Indonesia so more beauty to come …
During old years day, december 31th of 2015 we had a hec of a diving day in the ” Northern part of the Similans”. During the day we had likely the strongest “current” dive out of my 450 + dive history. We jumped at the Koh Tachai pinnacle without being at the mooring line. And while we jumped close to the mooring line a mooring line has never been further away. We were swimmng against the current to finally reach the line. It was like running a 100 meter sprint that turned into a 400 m steeple chase. 60 Bar later we had protection down there behind the rocks. When we came up the wind blow stronger and Nelson , the Marco Polo tourleader, decided to go straight to Surin so that we could try on new years day to get to the famous Richelieu Rock.
Jan 1th 2016…..04.00 am (did we sleep already…?) the captain is leaving the protected bay in Surin to make way to Richelieu. An hour later we are back on the bay. The waves are simply too big and while we could get there diving would be not safe. So we celebrate our first dive of the year in Surin. Guess whom we meet under the water…our good friend Ricardo from the Giamani is wishing us with a perfect side mount trim “happy new-year” under the water…..
Later that day the wind is calming down and we make our way to Richelieu Rock. Our dive there turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. 20 min in the dive this nudibranch Cuthona Sibogae is welcoming us in his house together with his/her partner.
They are moderately large aeolid nudibranch in which the cerata are arranged in about eight fan-like clusters on each side of the body. The cerata are cylindrical, tapering at the tip to a rounded point. The general body colouration is pale lilac purple. The oral tentacles and the upper half of the slender smooth rhinophores are a reddish purple. The cerata are similar in colour to the body except for a bright golden yellow tip and a band just below the yellow tip which ranges from deep reddish purple to deep purple. Many of the smaller outer cerata in each row are golden yellow with nno purplish basal region. It grows to 35mm in length. It is usually found associated with its food, an orange hydroid, Sertularella quadridens.
Thanks to Alexander and the entire Marco-Polo crew under leadership of Nelson and Anita for showing is this wonderful Nudibranch. Enjoy.
2016 is of to a strong start. Since December 29th 2015 I had the pleasure, the honour and the fatherly duty to spent time with my son Alexander in Similans and Phuket ….mostly under the water. This small blog is merely a teaser as I have to catch a plane early tomorrow morning.
We had a fantastic trip to the Similans and did some great dives in Phuket including the Tinn Lizzy in Nai Yang….a bit like Nudi Garden in the part of the world. In net I will be writing some blogs on Nudis and other “macro” stuff but we saw also some “big stuf” like the giant leopard shark that was waiting for us at Anemone reef.
Enjoy a small sneak preview and we will be back shortly.