From the scorching sands of the rather volatile Middle East, UN Inspectors have uncovered a new weapon. No, I am only kidding. Dear friends Carole Harris and Leon Betts have sent another amazing unidentifiable nudibranch. This time Carole's critter is an aeolid. Do any of you recognize this beauty? I sure don't. I am calling it a Flabellina here, but that's without the opportunity to admire it up close, and I can't convince Carole to complete her degree in Nudibranchology.
Based on Carole's great in-situ photographs it looks like this week's BOW has long cephala tentacles and the rhinophores are either smooth or slightly verrucose. The entire body is transparent showing the internal organs. There is clearly a cnidoblast at the tip of each ceras. The cerata are unique in coloration, the thin branch of the liver diverticulum beginning as a short yellow segment which abruptly turns black for most of its length and then thickens and becomes blue below the white cnidoblast. This seems to be the only pigmentation on the body. Carole and Leon showed me this critter years ago indicating that at certain times of the year it was common. Recently it showed up in numbers again. I am going to guess that this species feeds on the campanularid hydroid seen in this shot , taken on the same dive. Both were in the waters off Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
We'd love to hear from any of you who may have an idea what the name of this species is.
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 authored "UAE - Underwater Explorer". This great dive guide includes details of the most dived locations, colour photographs and dive-site maps.
to see details .
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
David W. Behrens
Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
Send Dave mail at email@example.com