Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nudi "Clothes-ure"

The weather was choppy this week at Maluku in Ambon.  We still got to dive but we had to take a “limo” to Laha town to board the boat.  What do you think of our “sweet ride”?

Here is the inside:
The vehicle actually caught on fire on the way back from one of the dives!
I had Jayne help me with the nudi IDs.  Here we go…
55 – Phyllidia babai
This looks a lot like the Phyllidia oscellata, but if you notice it is white with black circles instead of yellow with black circles.
56 – Ceratosoma tenue
This one is really neat and is often called a kangaroo nudi.  Notice that it has a flap in the back that flips up by the gills.
57 – Flabellina sp.
This was so beautiful and dainty.  I asked Jayne and she said it is not a Flabellina rubrolineata because it doesn’t have three lines.
58 - Dermatobranchus sp.
The big one liked the shell but look closely, there is a little one just to the left.
59 – Cuthona yamasui
Soooo pretty!
60 - Glossidoris pallida
There were two near each other.
61 - Platydoris sp.
This is also called the four spot Platydoris.
62 - Glossidoris rufomarginata
I thought this was a Glossodoris cincta until I reviewed it later with Jayne.
63 – Aeolid of some sort
This looks a lot like a blue dragon nudi but there are circular cerata.
64 - Chromodoris strigata
I may have a better image of this one.
65 - Halgerda batangas
Unfortunately we found this on the last day and neither of my strobes were working anymore, so the color is less than desirable, but at least I captured it!
Here is another cool slug that is a close cousin of the nudi – a Thuridilla albopustulosa.
I also got some awesome footage of blue dragon (Pteraeolidia ianthina) nudis fighting.  After reviewing the crude video my photo camera takes, my favorite part is my underwater commentary.
After all this excitement, I decided to move in.  Here is my new Indonesian house if you need to reach me.
Ha ha.  Well, this nudi safari is over and I’m ready to integrate back into the cold Chicago society.  Until we meet again, nudibranchs of the world!
And speaking of "clothes-ure", I sure have a bunch of stinky laundry to do!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The most fun a girl can have with her wetsuit on!

This post is from 2/17, but we had spotty internet connection at Maluku Divers so I'm just posting it now from the Starbucks at the Bali Airport.

OK, I’m two days into diving at Maluku and it is great.
Marcel has worked hard to build this resort and get it up and running.  Here, he is known as “bossman”.  It is very cute.  He has over 30 Indonesians working at the resort and he convinced a beautiful woman named Lily from Singapore to lead dives (and serve as his significant other).  J 
They have room for just over 20 guests and do about three dives a day (night dives only if you specially request them).  The dives are as long as you can last and this is mostly muck diving.  Muck diving means that while you dive, you are not looking a beautiful coral but instead gross black sand (and often trash).  But in that ugliness, there are amazing little critters that are a blast to photograph!  And there are usually tons of nudibranchs.
In two days, I’ve found some new ones.
42 - Hypselodoris maculosa
This one was sooo tiny.  Look at how big the grains of sand are in the photo!
43 – Cratena sp.
This one was also very small.  It was all white with orange rhinophores and oral tentacles.
44 – Glossodoris cincta
This guy is good sized and appears to be spongy-like.  So colorful!
45 – Flabellina rubrolineata
Just gorgeous.
46 – Hypselodoris emma
I think these two were in love.  Look how they are holding each others’ rhinophores!
47 – Pectenodoris trilineata
At first I thought maybe this was a Hypselodoris bullockii but after running across the Pectenodoris trilineata, the three lines make this ID a slam dunk!
48 - Ceratosoma sinuatum 
I can’t figure this out if this is a Orodoris miamirana or a Ceratomosa sp. or Ceratosoma sinuatum.  There is a guest coming today named Jayne who is a big nudibrancher who may be able to help me out!
49 – Hypselodoris sp. 11 
This one is very small and I could try to identify it as many different nudis (mostly juvenile).
50 – Unknown aeolid (maybe a flabellina of some sort)

I love the orange underside with the white purple and pink cerata!
51 – Flabellina bilas
Look closely, this one is missing a rhinophore.
52 – Chromodoris setoensis
This one is pictured with a Chromodoris geometrica.  I need to get a better shot.
53 – Kentrodoris rubescens
I LOVE this one.  It has a very high hump on which the gills come out.  Also, you can see inside the nudi just a little bit.  I can’t seem to find this in any of the books but Jayne said that this is a Kentrodoris rubescens (or Jorunna rubescens).
Here is a color variation as well:
54 – Aeolidiella alba
This one was so tiny (that’s why it is blurry).  It was moving like a rocking chair, so I wasn’t sure it was a nudi but Soulman assured me that it is.  I cannot find anything even resembling this in the book but Jayne helped me with her super secret PDF!

Monday, February 14, 2011

You are so "nudi-ful" to me!

<Thanks to my friend Kelly that title suggestion.  I love it!>
The Nudi Safari continued at SCUBA Seraya.   Alit and I had so much fun diving together and finding new stuff.  We had an underwater happy dance (it was more like a butt wiggle and regulator singing) and a very complicated fist bump thing.  Here is a picture of the super underwater nudi shaka heroes:
29 - Hypselodoris nigrostriata
Check it out, this one is laying eggs!
30 - Hypselodoris sp.
In the book they call this one Beautiful Hyselodoris but it has not been named yet.
I caught these two in the act!
31 – Unknown aeolid
Alit found this on a hydroid.  It is soooo photogenic but I have no idea what it is exactly.
32 – Phidiana indica
This looks like fireworks to me.
33 – Unknown chromodoris
This one was so small (that’s why the picture is a little fuzzy).  It may be a juvenile of some sort.
 34 - Chromodoris aureopurpurea 

35 – Unknown aeolid

36 – Moridillia brockii

37 - Discodoris sp.
You have to look closely at this all white nudi to see its rhinophores and gills.
38 - Bornella stellifer
This one has whiskers up front.
39 - Unknown aeolid
This one is modeling for me.  Nudibranch's Next Top Model.
40 - Glossidoris atromarginata

41 - Chromodoris reticulata
In Kona, this nudi was very rare and we called it a red spotted nudi.

As I was leaving SCUBA Seraya for a night in Bali, I noticed a little snail on the driveway.  It’s almost like a nudibranch crawled out of the water to say goodbye to me. 
Happy snails to you… until we meet again!  I would like to come back in another five years.
OK, off to Malaku Divers in Ambon!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I've died and gone to Nudi Heaven.

I am now at SCUBA Seraya.  It is amazing here.  For the first night/day, I am the only guest and diver.
I was here in 2006 and they have made many changes.  Patrick, a Swiss ex-Pat runs the place and has added quite a bit.  There is a cool outdoor lounge area to hang out and talk about your dives.  There are nooks and crannies everywhere and a beautiful spa like pool.  And there are four new sunchairs (although when I went to check them out, I was attacked by red ants).  They also purchased a brand new yellow boat.  I was the first guest to ride in it.
As for the diving and nudibranchs, my count has gone up dramatically!  Woo Hoo!
Hold on for this wild ride…
18 - Risbecia tryoni
We call this one the pizza nudibranch.  Sorta resembles a pepperoni pizza.  They are often known to “tail” each other.  It is unknown if this a courting behavior or not.
19 – Nembrotha cristata
20 – Doto sp. 9
My dive guide called this one the Donut Nudi.  I cannot seem to find it in the book at all.  I think it is a Dodo of some kind.  I definitely need help identifying this one!
Neville Coleman said it is a Doto.
Jayne said it is an sp. 9.
So, there you go!
21 – Chromodoris collingwoodi

22 – Bornella stellifer
Notice the little "whiskers" up front.
23 – Hypselodoris sp. 2
Look at the detail on the gills!  That is just amazing to me.  Originally, I thought this was a Hypselodoris infucata, but Jayne set me straight.
24 – Mexichromis multituberculata 
This one looks like candy if you ask me.
25 – Flabellina bicolor 

26 – Chromodoris hintantuensis

27 – Platydoris formosa
Orginally I thought this was a Platydoris formosa but Jayne corrected me and said it is a Platydoris sanguinea.

28 – Hoplodoris estreyado
The texture and the patterns on them were amazing.  These two were canoodling but not mating.
I am soooooooooooooooo happy!  11 new nudis in one day and four dives!  That’s awesome.
In addition to all these nudis, there are also tons of photogenic critters.  I’ll try to post those on Facebook soon.
The only sad part about this place is that there is not much interaction as on a liveaboard or a destination resort like Wakatobi.  I have to substitute by reading and writing.