A couple of weeks ago while foraging through my collection of slides, I came across an image that presented itself as an ideal candidate for a BOW. First of all there was little chance of screwing up the ID on my part, and secondarily there is a somewhat interesting story to go along with it depending on how you look at it.
This story unfolds in the Philippines in Feb. of 1995. It was a trip that also included Terry Gosliner of CAS. One of the big decisions of diving with Terry is where you're going to position yourself. If you follow him the pickings are really slim, and if you are in a silty area be prepared to be enveloped in a plume that invariably follows Terry. On the day of the particular dive to Sepok Wall, I choose to take the lead which is fine unless you go by something and Terry sees it. This was the case one fine morning with great visibility and no currents. I took the lead and went right by the animal! The event was indelibly burned into my memory when we surfaced and were comparing the goodys on board later! Terry won't say anything but you know you've been had! Such was my chagrin that I didn't even have the nerve to ask to take the animal in on the second dive and was consigned to taking a tub shot that evening. If you want to see a nice in situ go to Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum for a nice shot by Mary Jane Adams.
From a taxon point of view, the animal most closely related to Hypselodoris iacula is Hypselodoris purpuremaculosa according to Gosliner. H. purpuremaculosa has red wine blotches that Hypselodoris iacula doesn't have.
Gosliner, T.M.; Johnson, R.F. 1999-01. Phylogeny of Hypselodoris (Nudibranchia: Chromodorididae) with a review of the monophyletic clade of Indo-Pacific species, including descriptions of twelve new
species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, v.125(1): 1-114.