Friday, August 24, 2012

Tide Pool Nudibranchs

 There are several secret places to find some pretty amazing nudibranchs here on Maui. One nudibranch resource that often gets overlooked is the tide pool. If you go out at night and find a good series of tide pools you can find all kinds of creatures to wonder at. This brightly colored juvenile Spanish Dancer Nudibranch showed off its beautiful colors and patterns as it swam gracefully through the water of one of the deeper tide pools. This nudibranch was about the size of Heidi's finger as you can see in the picture. Hopefully it will grow into a nudibranch as large as her arm!

 This almost translucent slug which hasn't forgone a shell like true nudibranchs is called a swollen bubble shell, or Hydatina amplustre. This wild looking nudibranch pictured on the right is Catriona sp. #1, a rarely seen nudibranch first described from Hawaii in 2008.  Heidi found three of these very close to each other in one of the bigger tide pools.

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