Nembrotha sp.

Photo courtesy of Carole Harris
Puerto Galera, Philippines

Nembrotha sp. (apparently undescribed)

I photographed this interesting Nembrotha in Puerto Galera, Philippines. We came upon it at around 12m during a night dive climbing/hiding under an overhanging piece of coral. I remember it being difficult to get the camera in a small gap and only managed to get one shot of this critter. It appeared to be having a jolly good meal on a lump of sponge. This is the first and only specimen I have ever seen this species, and understand from Dave Behrens and Terry Gosliner, that it likely an undescribed species. Both of these chaps are experts on this region and have never seen it either.

The body is cream coloured with a rusty red surface pigmentation. This clears creating a white "dorsal spine" line. The body also has white spots which appears to be in 2 stages outwards from the white line and the second stage being close to the slightly frilly notal margin which has a soft red/orange glow with a few highlights around the head area. The gills and rhinophores are red.

The species looks a little like both of Bill Rudman's Nembrotha sp. 11 and Nembrotha sp. 12 from the Philippines and South Africa respectively, because of the knobby/lined body texture. It might even be confused with some color variations of Nembrotha livingstonei , Allan, 1933.

With all the divers visiting the Puerto Galera area these days, hopefully someone will come across this nifty critter again.

Carole Harris
United Arab Emirates
Aug. 2003

Carole and Leon live in the United Arab Emirates where they have been diving for over 17 years. One of Carole's favorite photographic subjects are 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. When ever they can, they run off to dive there favorite spots in the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia. Carole published the first ever UAE dive guide. UAE Underwater Explorer (ISBN 9768182-17-2, A5 size, 180 pages) published by Explorer Publishing & Distribution. You can get information about this guide by writing - The book (see cover below) includes details of the most dived locations, color photographs and dive-site maps.

Carole 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. Carole has written dozens of articles on environmental topics from the waters she has dived.

Send Carol and Leon email at

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