Okenia pellucida

Photo courtesy of Carole Harris and Leon Betts
Photographed at Coral Gardens in the UAE

Okenia pellucida (Burn, 1967)

This week Branch of the Week features Okenia pellucida. This phanerobranch dorid is relatively large and elongate species characterized externally by the pattern of dark brown lines. The body is translucent with cream colored internal organs and a brownish band midway down the rhinophores.

The species feeds and lays its egg masses on the arborescent bryozoan Zoobotryon. Specimens measure up to 25 mm in length. The geographic range of this species includes Australia (southern Queensland, New South Wales, southern Western Australia), northern New Zealand, and Japan. I think it is safe t say we can add Dubai, United Arab Emirates to this list.

Although few of us have had the pleasure and discovery of diving the waters of the UAE, Carole has just authored a new book describing the dive sites of the area, where you can personally find the many species we have featured in previous weeks on the Slug Site.

Dave Behrens
Danville, Calif
Jul. 2001

Carole and Leon live in the United Arab Emirates and have been diving for over 13 years. One of Carole's favourite photography subject is nudibranchs, because as she says, she is almost guaranteed to get a fairly decent shot! Living in the UAE has proved to be a most diverse and unexpected smorgasboard of offerings from a wide range of unusual nudis to robust ghostpipefish, pipehorse, pygmy sea moths, hammerheads, and recently a pygmy sperm whale.

Carole has recently published a UAE dive guide book "UAE Underwater Explorer" with another diver which was published in May 2001. It includes details of the most dived locations, with all the colour photographs supplied by Carole, dive-site maps, GPS bearings, etc.

She is also a very active member in the Emirates Environmental Group, promoting underwater awareness to its members and the public alike and has struck up a friendship with a reporter who shares the same environmental eagerness and helps to highlight these matters in the local newspapers.

Send Carol and Leon email at caroleeharris@hotmail.com

Taxonomic information courtesy of Dave Behrens

David W. Behrens

Author: Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
Co-Author Coral Reef Animals of the Indo Pacific
Propriator of Sea Challengers Natural History Books !

Send Dave mail at seachalleng@earthlink.net

© The Slug Site, Michael D. Miller , 2001. All Rights Reserved.