Tuesday, May 12, 2009


What happens when you dive and find two pseudoceros dimidiatus flatworms on the same coral head? You get the attention of your dive master, in my case, Vinny, who then tries to play matchmaker between the two worms! I wonder now if it worked out for two... Vinny said (all underwater and through his regulator) "I've never seen two together...ever!" I don't' know how he can talk so well through his reg.  He was very excited and I got some great photos of his matchmaking technique...

Could this be love????
I'm not sure what this purple splotch is in the middle of this coral is, but I am assuming that it might be a nudibranch of some kind which is why I posted it's photo here. If anyone knows... let me know. I think I'll be getting a nudibranch book soon. I've been researching them on-line and there are some bizarre looking and yet beautiful sea slugs and flat worms! I never thought I'd imagine myself finding worms or anything like that pretty, colorful, or picturesque. 
Through some investigative research I think this is is a nudibranch called phyllidia varicosa. Since most coral is similar in color and texture when diving if you are looking closely at the walls and rocks these highly colored animals are easily spotted, the catch is they aren't often seen by divers who are amused by everything else surrounding them. I'm now starting to look more closely for these interesting species.

This is one I spotted all on my own and I think it is a phyllidia rosans but my research might be incorrect. This one is much more smooth in texture than the previous nudibranch but it's black white and yellow coloring sticks out like a sore thumb when compared to it's surroundings.
While diving at Au Au Canyon I swam around one of the outcroppings and this brightly colored fuscia flatworm immediately caught my attention. It's scientific identification is pseudoceros ferrigineus. Say that five times fast! It was the first one I've seen with this bright purple coloring and at around fourty or fifty feet it was still luminous because the sunlight was great that day!

So, in short, nudi-Hawaii is my version of nudibranch fondness that I discovered this trip to the islands.

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