Sunday, May 27, 2012

Yellow Margin Spanish Dancer Nudibranch, Hexabranchus aureomarginatus

Taken in the rich blue waters off the back side of the island of Lanai this yellow margin spanish dancer nudibranch, Hexabranchus aureomarginatus, is the first I have ever seen. Found only in the Hawaiian Islands, this nudibranch can grow to 8 inches in length, making it one of the largest in the world. Up till now I have only seen the red margin spanish dancer.

My friend Ben found this one climbing along a vertical wall in Lighthouse Cove during his reef tour. I jumped in to identify what type of nudibranch it was and was very excited to find a new one for me. It unfurled and danced a bit before my camera was brought to me. I tell people every day out in the water is like a treasure hunt...you never know what you will find.

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