Friday, December 26, 2008

Could It Be.....

a new record outside Australia or a new species?

What am I talking about? Well....I am talking about this nudibranch that was sighted by Ivan Choong during last week dive at Pulau Hantu.

After checking The Sea Slug Forum and Neville Coleman's Nudibranch Encyclopedia book, this nudibranch looks similar to Okenia purpurata.

But the thing is that Okenia purpurata, according to The Sea Slug Forum, has 4 to 5 gills. Whereas, the ones found at Hantu as shown in the pics above have only 3 gills. Moreover, the Forum put that the distribution is known only from northern New South Wales, eastern Australia and the book stated that Okenia purpurata is Australia endemic.

Previous sightings of this nudibranch were recorded by The Hantu Bloggers during their dives too. One of them on 27th May 07 and the other on 21st Oct 06.

So Ivan sent his pics to three nudibranch experts (Dr Richard Willan, David W. Behrens and Neville Coleman) for the ID of this nudibranch.

They all agreed that it looks similar to Okenia purpurata. With Dr Richard Willan temporarily naming it as Okenia cf purpurata.

This means that it could be Okenia purpurata or something closely related or looks quite like it. This also mean that its ID will remain a mystery until further study can be done about its internal anatomy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas (聖誕快樂)!!!.....

Happy Holiday,

And A Happy New Year !!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

One Greedy Nudibranch.....

Did my last dive for Year 2008 at Pulau Hantu today. And thanks Ivan for organising the trip!

So who is this greedy nudibranch???

Ha, I will tell you later. But first, let see what other critters were encountered today?

You will not miss the Icon Sea Star. They can be seen often at the seabed.

If you look carefully on the Sea Fans, you can find Allied Cowries on them! They come in different colour!

Flatworms of various species were seen too!

Beautiful Peacock Anemone!

A small orange Sea Cucumber.

My First Sea Pen Underwater! Usually I get to see them during intertidal trips.

A handsome yellow Seahorse spotted by Ivan.

This Thurdilla sp. seen to be in season.

Okay, now back to the question; Who is that greedy nudibranch?

Nope, not this Dermatobranchus sp.

Not this Phyllidia sp. either

Is it this Tritonia nudibranch (Tritonia bollandi)???

Is it this Black-margined nudibranch (Glossodoris atromarginata)??? Is it? Is it?

How about this little Sibogae nudibranch (Cuthona sibogae)? Hur? Hur?

The "The Godzilla" (Ceratosoma gracillimum) may be huge, but it is not the greedy one.

The Orange-patterned Bornella (Bornella sp) is neither too.

And its relative, the Snakey Bornella nudibranch (Bornella anguilla) has this innocent look.

How about this Bullock nudibranch (Hypselodoris bullocki)???

Hmmmmmmm........So WHO IS IT???

The answer is.....




This LITTLE Red-papulose Gymnodoris nudibranch (Gymnodoris rubropapulosa)!!!

Then why is it GREEDY??? You wanna know?

Here's why.....




It was trying to eat the above-mentioned Bullock nudibranch (Hypselodoris bullocki)!!! Gosh!.....look at its size compared its prey!!!

GREEDY fellow!!! Don't you think? :op

Monday, December 15, 2008

Eh, I Am Not An Underwater Caterpillar Okay.....

Sent in the pics of this nudibranch (the one that was moving liking a big fat juicy caterpillar) sighted during The Hantu Bloggers 4th Anniversary dive to Dr Bill of The Sea Slug Forum for ID.

It was IDed as Janolus sp. 4.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

We Saw This At Semakau.....

Went for a trip to explore the Mangroves at Pulau Semakau today. And we came across this on one of the many Bakau (Rhizophora) found there.

It's a PINK propagule!!!

Just two weeks ago, I learned from Dr Yong's Mangroves workshop that if we see this kind of PINK propagules, it means that the water is being polluted at that area.

Oh dear! Is the water at this part of Pulau Semakau affected by some pollutions?

Here's a pic which shows the PINK one beside a healthy greenish one.

Monday, December 01, 2008

A Good Dive @ Pulau Hantu.....

Joined The Hantu Bloggers for yet another dive @ Pulau Hantu yesterday.

The vis was about 2-3m but was a bit dim at the seabed due to the overcast.

Nonetheless, we still came across plenty of stuffs! Here they are;

A Big Big Crinoid/Featherstar and.....

a Tiny Tiny one!

Couple of Flatworms.

Variety of hard corals!

And of course, Nudibranch of various species.....

The very common Blue Dragon nudibranch (Pteraeolidia ianthina).

An Ocellate nudibranch (Phyllidia ocellata.).

Plenty of small Tambja nudibranch (Tambja sp.).

Tiny Dermatobranchus nudibranch (Dermatobranchus sp.)

The ever CUTE CUTE Oreo cookie nudibranch (Jorunna funebris), no matter big or small.

The huge Ceratosoma nudibranch (Ceratosoma gracillimum) which some of us affectionately called it The Godzilla!

A Snakey Bornella nudibranch (Bornella anguilla) having mouthful of Hydroids as its lunch!

And this time round, spotted the Tritonia nudibranch (probable Tritonia bollandi) at the west fringing reef.....

There's a very very very tiny one (about 5mm) in the center of this pic

and a slightly bigger one sighted on another Sea Fan;

And talking about small creatures, this gotta be the smallest Saw-tooth Shrimp that I have come across so far as compared to those sighted in earlier dives at Hantu.

This little fellow was about 1.5cm. I had a hard time taking a pic of it as it kept moving up and down the Seawhip!

Also came across this little yellow pipefish.

But alas, none of us saw its cousin, the Seahorses, at the usual spots that they can be found.

Hope nothing bad happen to them.....and hopefully we can find them next time.