Halgerda diaphana Fahey & Gosliner, 1999
Well, leave it up to my eagle eye dive buddy Jerry Allen to ferret out the implausible and improbable! We were in a otherwise middle of a uneventful dive when Jerry motions me back to look at something I just passed over a few seconds ago and didn't notice. It was obvious our guy was an Halgerda, but which one? The intense or almost iridescent white margin pointed the way to the identification as Halgerda diaphana . This guy was definitely a long way from home as the original description by Fahey and Gosliner listed H. diaphana as only being known only from the RyuKyu Islands (Okinawa).
The sighting of H. diaphana was perhaps a harbinger of Typhoon Caloy which swept through the Batangas area the next day in a month that Typhoons weren't supposed to appear. Pretty exciting chain of events, first finding Halgerda diaphana and then sitting out a typhoon for the next two days!
What could possibly top that? Well, on May 21st over at Puerto Galera, Roland Pieper, a German U/W Photographer, found a very nice specimen of Ceratosoma alleni ! Doesn't get much better than that folks!
Fahey, S. & Gosliner, T.M. (1999) Preliminary Phylogeny of Halgerda (Nudibranchia: Halgerdidae) from the tropical Indo-Pacific, with descriptions of three new species. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 51(11): 425-448.
Jerry Allen and myself took time off during Typhoon Caloy to visit fellow U/W photographers at Club Ocellaris, Anilao, Batangas, Philippines during a lull in storm activity.
Although not pictured, I was also able to talk to Joey and Cindy Alford who helped make possible the Mystery Slug BOW
Ray, John, and Roger has just returned from a dive off the old Seafari Compound where a shore entry was still possible. Sure beats sitting around in a room waiting for the Typhoon to abate! Taking a que from this intrepid trio, Jerry and I did the same dive the next morning and much to our surprise found great visibility 15 feet or so below the surface. We rounded up all the usual suspects in two dives and returned to Eagle Point Resort where we were staying.
Had some great discussions with the bunch staying there regarding U/W photography in general and High Definition Video in particular. It was interesting to note the number of Nikon RS units in presence at Club O. A great system that has endured through the years! I would estimate
that almost 25% of the German U/W photographers were using RS units when we later went over to Sabang Bay, Puerto Galera, Philippines!