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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Species List: La Balsa Park, Mooloolah River, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, 17-10-2014

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

Julie, Terry, and David on this single shore entry dive of 118 minutes in depths to 6.4m. 8m viz and 23C water temp.

An almost cloudless sky and reasonable water clarity gave us heaps of light on the substrate during this mid-afternoon dive. A number of species were found that are new to our list.

The Godiva is obviously a juvenile but bears many similarities to Godiva quadricolor. The exception is smooth rhinophores rather than the annulated ones we have always found on these specimens previously. This could just be an undeveloped juvenile feature.

Two species of Aplysiidae were found in the weed. Our best investigations at this point lead us to believe that one (10mm) is a species of Petalifera whilst the other (5mm) is a species of Phyllaplysia. An internal shell is visible in the later but being a juvenile this may not be of significance. In both cases we have opted for the safer choice and designated each as an sp. as the features do not seem to point to any particular species. (Additional pictures of these will be available to review when the website is updated next week.) The Aplysiidae are in dire need of a review with many authors giving conflicting views upon what belongs in each genus. To quote Rudman (Sea Slug Forum) on this: "How many species and genera there are has been the subject of a lengthy, and uninformative debate in the scientific literature."

An undescribed species of Favorinus was also found, being most unusual in the colour within the skin of its body and tail leading us to nickname it the "Glitter Critter".

Number of species sighted
* Species with highest specimen count

Analogium amakusanum 1
Chelidonura fulvipunctata 1
Cratena lineata 1
Elysia sp. 11 1
Favorinus sp. 3 1 (New species)
Flabellina rubrolineata 5
Godiva quadricolor 1 (appears to be a juvenile)
Goniobranchus daphne 13
Goniobranchus decorus 1
Goniodoridella sp.1 1
Goniodoridella sp. 3 1
Hypselodoris obscura 5
Petalifera sp. 1 1 (New species)
Phyllaplysia sp. 1 1 (New species)
Phyllodesmium opalescens 3
Pteraeolidia ianthina 14
Rostanga sp. 1 1
Trinchesia ornata 1 (Best guess)
Trinchesia sp. 23 1
Trinchesia yamasui 1
*Unidentia angelvaldesi 27

Substrate - light & bright

Analogium amakusanum

Goniobranchus decorus

Flabellina rubrolineata

Goniobranchus decorus - mating pair

Trinchesia yamasui - feeding on the hydroids

Pteraeolidia ianthina

Goniobranchus decorus

Goniodoridella sp.1

Trinchesia ornata - best guess

Chelidonura fulvipunctata

Cratena lineata

Goniodoridella sp. 3

Petalifera sp. 1 - new species (10mm)

Phyllaplysia sp. 1 - new species (5mm)

Unidentia angelvaldesi - top of the count

Rostanga sp. 1

Rostanga sp. 1 - note bite mark 
out of mantle by predator

Trinchesia sp. 23

Phyllodesmium opalescens

Pteraeolidia ianthina

Godiva quadricolor - juvenile 
with smooth rhinophores

Godiva quadricolor

Favorinus sp. 3 - new species

Favorinus sp. 3 - glittery multi-coloured 
specs in the skin

Elysia sp. 11- rhinophores rock 
back and forth as it moves

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Species List: TJ's Boulders, Currimundi Reef, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, 11-10-2014

48 species sighted at TJ's Boulders, Currimundi Reef, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast.

Julie, Terry and David on this excursion consisting of 1 x 75 minute and 1 x 68 minute dives in water depths of 17m to 21m. 10m viz, 22C water temp, no surge.

This site is one of our deepest on Currimundi Reef resulting in shorter dives. The reduced bottom time however did not hinder the sighting of species with the final count being one of our best for some time. Highlights include the unusual patterned form of Noumea alboannulata, Favorinus sp. 1, a colony of Phestilla melanobrachia and a Diversidoris crocea.

Number of each species sighted: 1st dive/2nd dive
* Species with highest specimen count

Aegires citrinus 1/-
Aplysia parvula 1/-
Ardeadoris aff. averni 7/2
Ardeadoris rubroannulata 1/-
Berthella martensi -/2
Chromodoris kuiteri 2/-
Chromodoris striatella 2/3
Cratena lineata -/1
Cratena simba -/1
Dendrodoris denisoni -/1
Dermatobranchus cf. primus -/1
Dermatobranchus ornatus 5/3
Diversidoris crocea 1/-
*Doriprismatica atromarginata 12/18
Favorinus sp. 1 1/-
Flabellina rubrolineata 1/3
Glossodoris vespa 1/-
Goniobranchus cf. reticulatus 3/-
Goniobranchus daphne 2/2
Goniobranchus geometricus 1/1
Goniobranchus splendidus 2/3
Gymnodoris alba 1/2
Hermaea sp. 2 -/1
Hermaea sp. 6 -/1
Hermaea sp. 7 -/13
Hypselodoris bullockii 1/-
Hypselodoris jacksoni 2/1
Hypselodoris obscura 3/3
Jorunna sp. 3 -/2
Miamira sinuata 1/-
Nembrotha purpureolineata 1/-
Noumea alboannulata 1/-
Noumea simplex 1/-
Phestilla melanobrachia 6/-
Phyllidia ocellata 2/1
Phyllidia picta 1/1
Phyllidia varicosa 1/-
Phyllidiella lizae 1/1
Phyllidiella pustulosa 3/3
Phyllodesmium macphersonae 2/-
Phyllodesmium sp. 2 -/1
Pleurobranchus peronii 1/-
Pteraeolidia ianthina 3/1
Sagaminopteron ornatum 5/5
Sagaminopteron psychedelicum 1/-
Tambja tenuilineata 3/1
Tritoniopsis alba 3/4
Tylodina corticalis 8/5

Surface conditions

Phyllodesmium sp. 2

Tritoniopsis alba

Dendrodoris denisoni 

Hypselodoris bullockii

Noumea alboannulata

The "Swim Through" at the base 
of the southern boulder

Aegires citrinus

Ardeadoris rubroannulata

Chromodoris kuiteri and the feeding scar 
on its sponge food source

Goniobranchus cf. reticulatus

Dermatobranchus ornatus


Doriprismatica atromarginata

Hypselodoris jacksoni

Hypselodoris obscura

Aplysia parvula

Nembrotha purpureolineata - feeding 
on an ascidian

Glossodoris vespa

Flabellina rubrolineata

Jorunna sp. 3 - a pair

Cratena lineata

Goniobranchus splendidus

Phyllidiella lizae

Phyllidiella pustulosa

Ardeadoris aff. averni

Berthella martensi

Phyllidia picta

Hermaea sp. 2

Hermaea sp. 6

Goniobranchus daphne 

Goniobranchus geometricus

Pleurobranchus peronii

Noumea simplex

Phestilla melanobrachia - one of six feeding 
on the Sunshine Coral polyps

Sagaminopteron psychedelicum

Miamira sinuata

Phyllodesmium macphersonae

Favorinus sp. 1 - in situ

Favorinus sp. 1 - on black

Sagaminopteron ornatum - a pair

Chromodoris striatella

Tambja tenuilineata

Gymnodoris alba

Tylodina corticalis

Hermaea sp. 7