My New Found Love: Nudibranchs

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I had no idea what a nudibranch even was before I went to Pom Pom Island.

Why would I? We’re talking about sea slugs here. I was more interested in fish and coral.

Little did I know I was missing out on a whole other world!

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When you first start diving, you more than likely will not see much of the small stuff unless your teacher or guide point them out.

A couple of the girls kept talking about all the different nudibranchs they saw on our dives, but I had no clue what they were talking about and how they were even spotting them. I decided to take a look through the macro book and see what these mystic creatures actually were.

What is a nudibranch you ask?

These little sea slugs are something else.

Over 3000 species of nudibranch roam our oceans and they are almost untouchable to predators even though they live completely exposed to their surrounding environment.

Nudibranchs, which means “naked lungs”, got their name because of the small tufts on their backs which are actually their exposed gills.

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They come in all shapes and colors and are found in both warm and cold waters.

The thing that excited me the most about these little slugs was the actual hunt to find them.

Like I said before, you more than likely won’t be noticing them when you first begin diving, but once you see one, you’ll start to train your eye to spot others. It’s so exciting!!!

Even though I tried to get pictures of all the nudies I saw, my GoPro didn’t handle the really small stuff very well.

Buutttt…..I did luck out more than a few times with a clear shot, which I would like to share with you now.

Enjoy! I hope by the end you will like the little slugs as much as I do!

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See the little blue stripe with the orange tuft? That’s him!

 

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I wouldn’t have seen this guy if it weren’t for his yellow “horns”.

 

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A fairly common nudie around Pom Pom Island

 

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He almost blends in with the white sand. but look closely and you can see the white slug on the side of the rock.

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This one is really hard to see, but look between the 2 pieces of coral. There’s a spiky little slug almost directly in the center.
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These 2 beauties were actually about to mate when I took this pic!

 

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This was the first species I noticed. Afterwards I saw them all over the place.
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I absolutely love how bright this one’s color is….and that’s at almost 5 meters underwater!

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This is a beauty from Lembeh. See the yellow dotted slug in the middle of the soft coral?

 

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This guy was one of my prouder spots on a dive!

 

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My last day diving in Lembeh I requested to see a Pikachu nudie. Well here he is! See the resemblance to the cartoon character?

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This is possibly one of my favorite shots. He looks so good right there next to the coral

 

Next time I go diving with macro I am either going to upgrade my own camera or pay to rent a good one. These guys are just too beautiful to miss!

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