More mysterious nudibranchs have been discovered by one of our resident invertebrate specialists, Mandy.
Both are tiny at just 5 millimetres long (I’m so impressed that Mandy found them while diving!) and the one pictured below was found under a rock near Macauley Island.
Mandy found two of these other little nudibranchs under a rock on Stawell Shoal, near Curtis and Cheeseman islands. The shoal is a pinnacle rising to within about 7 metres of the surface, and we suspect it may never have been dived before.
Bill, if you’re still following our journey we’d love to hear your opinions on these latest finds!
A brief Wikipedia moment: if you are absolutely mystified by what a nudibranch actually is (as the shore-based team were when the first nudibranch news came in) this might de-mystify things. A nudibranch is a soft-bodied, marine gastropod mollusk which sheds its shell after the larval stage. They are noted for their often extraordinary colors and striking forms. And, just like it sounds, the word “nudibranch” comes from the Latin nudus, naked, and (perhaps less obvious) the Greek brankhia, gills. Nudibranchs are often casually called “sea slug”, but many sea slugs belong to different groups which are not related to nudibranchs.