Well check out this wild critter. Bill Rudman suggests that it must be a Philinopsis due to shape of the head. I canít argue with that. Documented up to 50 mm in length, the dark tomato red bands, of the jet black body, each outlined with a yellow line, and the variably orange to bright red margin on the head shield, make this species absolutely distinctive.
I wish there was more to say about this beauty, but we donít know much. The only published photo I am aware of is in Atsushi Onoís book, Opisthobranchs of Ryukyu Islands . If you come across it, PLEASE, PLEASE, collect a couple specimens, and send them onto us.
It seems that although there have been only a few sightings of this beast, indicating that while certainly uncommon, itís geographic range is fairly wide -- Davao, Philippines (Uncle Bobís photo here), Northern Sulawesi, Indonesia, Yeyama Islands and Ishigaki-Island, Okinawa.
As an active member of the San Diego Underwater Photographic Society , Robert Yin has been taking underwater photographs world-wide for over 30 years, specializing in the Philippines. His photographs have appeared in many magazines and books including Skin Diver, Ocean Realm, Discover Diving, Philippines Airlines' Mabuhay Magazine, Action Asia, Asian Diver, National Geographic, Trauchen, Espacio Profundo, Sport Divers Journal, and scientific journals.
He has won many photographic awards including Nikon Photo Contest International. He was a presenter at the 1986, 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1998 San Diego Underwater Film Festivals. His photos have been exhibited in galleries including Sea Center Santa Barbara, S. Birch Aquarium-Museum San Diego, Cabrillo Aquarium, Manila Hotel and the Monterey Aquarium.
For those of you that have kids, you might be interested in Bob's series of books on Marine Life For Young Readers .
For the adults, Bob has a coffee table book "Beneath Philippine Seas" based on his extensive diving experience in the Philippines.
Ali Hermosillo and Dave Behrens
Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
Send Dave mail at email@example.com