Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jolly Green Giant Nudibranch in Maui!

Jolly Green Giant, the holy grail
Jolly Green Giant (Ceratosoma sinuatum)
  Searching for nudibranchs and other rarely seen creatures has become a passion for Heidi and myself out here in Maui. But up until now we have only been searching 'Nudi Flats', our secret dive sive, during the day. Once we finally decided to explore the place at night it was like a different reef. The major find on the dive and one that we have been searching for since we found out about its existence was the Jolly Green Giant nudibranch (Ceratosoma sinuatum). This little guy is considered the holy grail for nudibranch hunters out here in Hawaii, and we finally found one! Up until now we havn't seen these beautiful greens and light blues on any of our nudibranch finds. Heidi joked that now we can stop diving.
Three snow goddess nudibranchs
Other nudibranchs and flatworm quickly followed. Snow goddess nudibranchs and kangaroos seemed to be perched out on rocky outcroppings, a giant Umbrella Slug (the orange one with white raised spots) was emerged from its sandy hiding spot and cruised the reef, and all the while crescent octopus darted from hiding spot to hiding spot trying to blend in while looking for a tasty meal. They had to watch out becoming a meal themselves to the several moray eels we also spotted. Sometimes losing a bit of sleep and staying up late will give you a chance to see something that not too many people ever get to see.
umbrella slug

desirable flatworm

Heidi giving you a size comparison for the Jolly Green Giant

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