Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Species List: La Balsa Park, Mooloolah River, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, 20-12-2014

16 species sighted at La Balsa Park, Mooloolah River, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast.

Julie, Terry and David on this 115 minute single shore-entry dive in depths to 6.6m. 25C water temp and 5m viz.

An early morning dive. We are out of our dry suits now. A remarkable dive in that we found three specimens that we have decided to call sp.'s because we have not been able to match them sufficiently to existing species.

The small Siphopteron sp. 1 is a an exquisite headshield slug. At 2mm we have considered the possibility it may be a juvenile of Siphopteron tigrinum but some features are not similar so we will leave it separated at present.

We think there are a number of cryptic species currently lumped under Gymnodoris alba so we'll leave those alone for now because we are anticipating a paper being published soon on the Gymnodorididae and can hardly wait until then. However there was a definite discrete new species sighted on this dive - Gymnodoris sp. 9.

This brings us to the new Dermatobranchus. Dermatobranchus sp. 6 has distinct ridges (far more than described for D. rodmani) together with pink pustules on the mantle edge whilst in the second photo  a vivid red edge with submarginal yellow to the oral veil is shown. It is most similar to Dermatobranchus funiculus but does not match that description in its entirety.

We have decided to be wary of lumping together specimens with some similarities but also definite differences because by keeping them separate they will not be lost for future investigation. For far too long the term highly variable has been bandied about. Who is to know for sure which features are highly variable until precise examination has been undertaken. In fact, recent DNA investigations combined with a broader study of internal anatomy have found cryptic species among a number of species across the sea slug orders.

Number of species sighted
* Species with highest specimen count

Bulbaeolidia alba -2
Dermatobranchus cf. primus -10
Dermatobranchus sp. 6 -2 (new species)
Facelina sp. 7 -1
* Goniobranchus daphne -20
Goniobranchus decorus -1
Gymnodoris alba -5
Gymnodoris sp. 1 -1
Gymnodoris sp. 9 -1 (new species)
Hydatina physis -1
Hypselodoris obscura -5
Phidiana bourailli -1
Philinopsis pilsbryi -1
Pteraeolidia ianthina -5
Siphopteron sp. 1 -1 (new species)
Unidentia angelvaldesi -3

Preparing for immersion


Bulbaeolidia alba

Goniobranchus decorus

Philinopsis pilsbryi 
Scooting around in broad daylight

Hydatina physis - appears to have been 
cracked open by a crab perhaps.

Facelina sp. 7

Dermatobranchus cf. primus

Goniobranchus daphne

Dermatobranchus sp. 6 (New species)

Dermatobranchus sp. 6 (New species) 
Note colour of oral veil

Goniobranchus daphne - a mating pair

Hypselodoris obscura

Pteraeolidia ianthina

Unidentia angelvaldesi

Gymnodoris alba

Gymnodoris sp. 1

Gymnodoris sp. 9 (New species)

Siphopteron sp. 1 (New species)

Siphopteron sp. 1

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Species List: Castle Rock, Bicheno, Tasmania 24, 25, 26-11-2014

9 species were found and 7 new species were added to the big Tasmania list over the 3 days diving with David. We chartered the boat at Bicheno Dive and was treated with great nudibranch dive time. 14C water temp, light winds, 15m vis, average dive 1 hour.

Number of species sighted
* Species with highest specimen count

Cadlina tasmanica  1
Caldukia affinis  10
Ceratosoma amoenum  2
Ceratosoma brevicaudatum  1
Colpodaspis sp. 1  1
Flabellina poenicia  1
Janolus eximius  1
*Polycera janjukia  12

Tularia bractea  8

David ready to go at Govenors Island boat ramp

David falling down the canyon

The substrate

Colpodaspis sp. 1

Polycera janjukia

Janolus eximius thought to endemic to NZ

Caldukia affinis

Ceratosoma brevicaudatum

Cadlina tasmanica

Polycera janjukia

Tularia bractea

Monday, November 24, 2014

Species List: Kings Beach, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, 20-11-2014

15 species sighted during this shore dive at Kings Beach, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast.

Julie, and Terry on this 124 minute single shore-entry dive in depths from 2.5 to 6 m. Positively balmy 24C water temp, 8 m viz. and light surge.

Northerly winds meant that boat diving was not an ideal option on Thursday, however it meant that conditions were finally suitable to check out Kings Beach after a long hiatus.  The visibility was very good for this site and, despite a large amount of different algae, the reef looks fairly healthy.  The critters were out in significant numbers for this site, with Umbraculum umbraculum still around and laying eggs.

Number of species sighted
* Species with highest specimen count

Ardeadoris aff. averni - 1
Cyerce sp. - 1 (Found on Dictyota bartayresiana)
Dermatobranchus cf. primus - 3
*Doriprismatica atromarginata - 23
Goniobranchus splendidus - 6
Gymnodoris alba - 3
Gymnodoris okinawae - 4
Hypselodoris obscura - 9
Hypselodoris whitei - 2
Julia exquisita - 1
Mexichromis festiva - 13
Mexichromis trilineata - 2
Micromelo undatus - 1
Thuridilla carlsoni - 1
Umbraculum umbraculum - 2

Julia exquisita

Gymnodoris alba

 Julia exquisita - on Dictyota
dichotoma var. intricata (we think!)

Terry going low and slow


 Surface conditions

 Micromelo undatus

 Hypselodoris whitei

 Umbraculum umbraculum - laying eggs from
the outside in

 Gymnodoris okinawae

 Cyerce sp.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Species List: Terry's Delight, Arkwright Shoals off Coolum, Sunshine Coast, 11-11-2014

18 species sighted at Terry's Delight, Arkwright Shoals off Coolum, Sunshine Coast.

Terry and David on this single dive of 68 minutes to depths between 14 and 20m. 23C water temperature, 5m viz and lots of surge.

Mischief is now relocated to Mooloolaba and we were keen to take her out for a run. Conditions were as forecast on the run up to Point Arkwright and supposed to improve but unfortunately deteriorated quickly once we had entered the water. The surge was incredible and this is reflected in the lack of in-focus images for the report. We were surprised that the species count was even this high given that surge. We decided enough was enough after an hour in those washing machine conditions and surfaced to increased wind and swell and so cancelled the second dive.

Number of species sighted
* Species with highest specimen count

Chelidonura inornata -3
Dermatobranchus cf. primus -2
*Doriprismatica atromarginata -7
Elysia maoria -2
Glossodoris vespa -1
*Hypselodoris jacksoni -7
Hypselodoris obscura -1
Jorunna sp. 3 -1
Lobiger souverbii -1
Miamira magnifica -1
Oxynoe viridis -2
Phyllidia exquisita -1
Phyllidia ocellata -1
Phyllidiella lizae -1
Phyllidiella pustulosa -1
Sagaminopteron ornatum -2
Tritoniopsis alba -1
Tylodina corticalis -1


Phyllidiella pustulosa

Tylodina corticalis

Doriprismatica atromarginata

Jorunna sp. 3

Sagaminopteron ornatum

Chelidonura inornata

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Species List: La Balsa Park, Mooloolah River, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, 23-10-2014

28 species sighted at La Balsa Park, Mooloolah River, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast.

Julie, Terry and David on this 123 minute single shore-entry night dive in depths to 6.7m. 23C water temp and 5m viz.

The sun had departed the sky when we entered the water ensuring there was plenty of time for the creatures of the night to emerge. The winner of the count was Pleurobranchus peronii who presented themselves not only in large numbers but in many shades of orange and red. The highlight and an absolute delightful find was what we are calling Notobryon wardi, a new species and number 600 to our list - a milestone. We can now die happy or perhaps set a new goal. This dive has produced our highest species count thus far for this rewarding site.

Number of species sighted
* Species with highest specimen count

Atys semistriatus - 3
Analogium amakusanum - 1
Bulla vernicosa - 1
Chelidonura fulvipunctata - 1
Cratena lineata - 3
Elysia sp. 11 - 1
Facelina sp. 8 - 9
Favorinus sp. 1 - 7
Flabellina rubrolineata - 3
Goniobranchus daphne - 6
Goniobranchus geometricus - 1
Gymnodoris alba - 1
Hoplodoris nodulosa - 3
Hydatina physis - 1
Hypselodoris obscura - 1
Lomanotus sp. 2 - 2
Lomanotus sp. 3 - 1
Notobryon wardi - 1 (New species - No. 600)
Philinopsis pilsbryi - 1
Phyllaplysia sp. 1 - 4
Phyllodesmium opalescens - 2
Phyllodesmium sp. 4 - 3
*Pleurobranchus peronii - 13
Pteraeolidia ianthina - 1
Rostanga sp. 1 - 1
Sakuraeolis nungunoides - 8
Trinchesia sibogae - 1
Unidentia angelvaldesi - 11

Pteraeolidia ianthina

Notobryon wardi - New species - No. 600

Hydatina physis

Gymnodoris alba

Rostanga sp. 1

Phyllodesmium opalescens

Trinchesia sibogae

Notobryon wardi

Hoplodoris nodulosa - A very pale form

Atys semistriatus

Bulla vernicosa

Lomanotus sp. 3

Lomanotus sp. 2

Phyllodesmium sp. 4

Facelina sp. 8

Unidentia angelvaldesi

Sakuraeolis nungunoides

Analogium amakusanum

Favorinus sp. 1

Philinopsis pilsbryi

Pleurobranchus peronii