Glossodoris sp.

Photo couresty of Ken Howard
Banda Sea, Indonesia

Glossodoris sp. Undescribed species

Gosh I hate it when we receive a photo like this and all I can come up with is -- "What it isn't." This week award winning photographer Ken Howard has shared a great shot, of a species that's matches nothing described. It's obviously a Glossodoris because of the body shape with the thin undulating mantle exposing the large foot and unique gills.

This genus has some of the most spectacular examples of dorid nudibranchs like the flamboyantly gaudy Glossodoris cruenta who is much wider and flat bodies than Ken's specimen shown above. Ken's critter has white pustules on the dorsum like Glossodoris tomsmithi but they aren't as large and the marginal band is wrong, G. tomsmithi doesn't have the black line . Because of the black line we immediately thought G. atromarginata . "Naut" - this species has a white margin with a black edge.

Other species with low white pustules are Rudman's Glossodoris sp. 8 and Glossodorissp. 11 but again the gills, rhinophores and color of the margin do not match. Rudman's Glossodoris sp. 14 is the closest species I am aware, but it does have the dorsal white pustules. What's a guy to do?

Members of this genus are particularly interesting because their gills often rhythmically wave as the animal crawls along. Members of the genus are also large for nudibranchs with individual specimens reaching 60-70 mm in length.

If anyone has any ideas, let webmaster Mike and Ken know.

Dave Behrens
Danville, Calif
Sept. . 2003

I became a certified diver in 1972 and took my first underwater photograph in 1973 with a $15 Instamatic camera in a $29 plastic housing. My photographic endeavors since then have won numerous awards in photo competitions and I have become involved in helping others interested in underwater photography by conducting seminars and serving as a judge for international underwater photo contests.

I have been diving and photographing over the years at numerous locations in the Caribbean, tropical Pacific and my native California. A current "focus" has been on capturing images of large marine animals. This has taken me to Cocos Island (Costa Rica) and Australia for sharks; the Silver Bank (Dominican Republic) for humpback whales; the Bahamas for wild spotted dolphins; Florida for manatees; San Benedicto Island. (Baja California) for giant pacific manta rays; the Azores (Portugal) for sperm whales; and Patagonia (Argentina) for southern right whales and elephant seals. Other locations visited to pursue my photographic specialty include Fiji, Guadeloupe (FWI), Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, Vancouver Island. (British Columbia), the Galapagos Islands, the Maldives (Indian Ocean), Myanmar (Burma), and Thailand.

My images have been used in many books, brochures and posters. Among those using my images for advertising purposes are Reader's Digest and the Holland-America Cruise Line. Magazine credits include National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Stern, Popular Photography, Islands, Caribbean Travel & Life, Nature Photographer, National Wildlife, Ocean Realm, and Shutterbug's Outdoor & Nature Photography. Calendars that have used my images include those published by the Audubon Society, The National Wildlife Federation, The Sierra Club, and The World Wildlife Fund. My photos have been on display at aquariums, city and state fairs, and museums (including the Smithsonian).

All the images in my portfolio were shot with Nikon 35mm cameras & lenses. Above water, I rely on the F5. Underwater, I use the amphibious Nikonos III & V cameras, as well as two N90S bodies in Subal (Austria) housings. Lenses (all f2.8) include the 80-200mm zoom (above-water only), the 15mm fisheye (underwater only), a 20-35mm zoom, and 20mm, 24mm, 60mm & 105mm fixed focal lenses.

Specializing in marine-related subjects, I market my work via SEA IMAGES, my stock photo agency, and this WEB Site ... I am a member of the American Society of Media Photographers and live in San Anselmo, CA.

The shot above was taken in the Banda Sea, Indonesia, with a 105mm f2.8 lens on a Nikon F100 camera, Sea & Sea housing and twin Ikelite SS50 strobes on TTL, f11 @ 1/60sec.

Ken Howard
San Anselmo, CA
Sept. 2003

WEBMASTER'S NOTES: It isn't often that San Diego Underphoto Society (SDUPS) members hear guest speakers address the artform involved in taking a picture of a nudibranch, but such was the case when Ken gave a presentation at our club recently. Most U/W photographers figure branch pics are a slam dunk but often this is not the case! The manner in which the picture can be both informational as to the marine biology of the animal and at the same time capture the wonder of the subject. This is a challenge indeed! Think about it next time you run across one of our sea slug friends!

Taxonomic information courtesy of:

David W. Behrens

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

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