Are you a Nudiphile 2?


In the early months of this blog, I wrote about my obsession with nudibranchs.  I had discovered that I favored browsing the internet for photographs of nudibranchs, which led to the realization that I was a nudiphile.  Since that time, I have gone into underwater therapy  a number of times to see if perhaps I could be persuaded by other critters.  But no, the tendency only worsened.  The sluggish things are so colorful and charming.  They seem to smile at the camera and I just can’t help but stop to photograph them.

Pikachu Nudibranch  AKA Thecacera picta

Pikachu Nudibranch AKA Thecacera picta

This little lovely (above) is known as a Pokeman or Pikachu nudibranch.  It belongs to the Dorid family.  They are about an inch long and are one of the more interesting slugs in the sea.

Hypselodoris kangas
Hypselodoris kangas

This colorful Hypselodoris was the only one of it’s kind to grace me with it’s presence.  For some reason, it reminds me of a clown, although less humorous and more refined.  Perhaps it is a French clown.

Chromodoris (similar to Willan's Chromodoris)

Chromodoris (similar to Willan’s Chromodoris)

Here a Chromodoris appears to be wearing a jeweled crown.

Batangas Halgerda

Batangas Halgerda

One of the amazing things about nudibranchs is their ability to blend in with their environment, or their ability to stand out in their environment.  This Batangas Halgerda does a little of both.  It’s body stands out, while it’s rhinophores and gill branches resemble plants in it’s environment.

Hypselodoris
Hypselodoris

These two breeding hypselodoris are wonderful to photograph because of their creamy pinkish coloring that looks like glass.

Yellow-Tipped Phyllodesmium  (Phyllodesmium briareum)

Yellow-Tipped Phyllodesmium (Phyllodesmium briareum)

Unfortunately for this Yellow-Tipped Phyllodesmium, it is a tasty meal for fish.  Most nudibranchs seem to be left alone perhaps because their remarkable coloring announces they might sting or be poisonous.

Halgerda Reticulidia  (Reticulidia halgerda)

Halgerda Reticulidia (Reticulidia halgerda)

Here’s an interesting specimen.  Hey, you got a bug on your face!

Solar Powered Phylledesmium  (Phyllodesmium longicirrum)

Solar Powered Phylledesmium (Phyllodesmium longicirrum)

Here’s another example of a “blender.”  It looks so much like the soft corals in it’s environment, that you have to search for the rhinophores to determine if it is a coral or nudibranch.  Of course, the corals don’t crawl.

Twin Chromodoris  (Chromodoris geminus)

Twin Chromodoris (Chromodoris geminus)

This guy has a mantle that flaps up and down as it crawls across the sea bed.  So intriguing to watch, it is no wonder my fetish for sea slugs is only growing.  Admit it.  You are a closet nudiphile too.

Are you a Nudiphile?


One day I was sitting at the computer, browsing through photograph after photograph of nudibranchs online.  “Ooooh, I love that one’s rhinophores!”  “Look at the plumes on that one!”  Then it hit me.  I sat there in stunned silence as I realized. . . I am a nudiphile.

Hermi small

Spanish Shawl small

Could it be true?  I hesitated.  Last week I took my camera on a dive with the express purpose of finding and photographing nudibranchs.  Was I over excited when I found one covered with eggs?  Just how often do I get the urge to hunt them down with my camera?  I thought back to the summer when I took a boat over to Catalina every single week so I could look for nudibranchs that would pose for my camera.  Well, that’s not so bad, I thought.  I can stop anytime.  Can’t I?

Navanax

Tylodina fungina small

But then on a shore dive in Laguna I found a treasure trove of Hopkins Rose Nudibranchs.  I spent an hour gazing at the beautiful pink cerata waving in the current like long grass blowing in the wind.  For days afterward my heartbeat quickened at the prospect of getting back in the water with them.

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chromodoris-1

My obsession only grew when I got my first photographs of the beautiful flatworms and colorful nudibranchs in the South Pacific.

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flatworm small

Magnificent

I guess I am totally hooked.  So what?  I am a nudiphile.

nudibranch small

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Noble Dorid small

Are you a Nudiphile too?

Hermissendra Crassicornis