Marionia sp.

Image courtesy of Annie Crawley
Crystal Blue resort
Anilao, Batangas, Philippines

Image courtesy of Annie Crawley

Marionia sp. (undescribed)

This is an amazing find. Why you ask? Well, because this relatively large species has been lurking around right in the middle of what is likely the most heavily studied area in the world for sea slugs. Dr. Terry Gosliner and his team of researchers from the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, have dived this patch of ocean bottom in the Verde Passage for years, and have discovered dozens, if not hundreds, of new species. How did they overlook this wild beast?

Old diver friends Annie Crawley and Mike Bartick, of Crystal Blue Dive Resort in Manibi, Philippines, were diving together when they came across what looked like a new soft coral. Looking closer they noticed that it was moving and indeed had rhinophores. Wild.

While we believe this is a species of Marionia, the morphology of this new species doesn't even come close to any Marionia we are aware of. The body is covered with tall, round white tubercles. The gill branches resemble the polyps of a white dendronephthid soft coral. The frontal veil is covered with a series of white pointed papillae.

This isn't one of those tiny guys Terry and party find on nearly every dive there, but quite the opposite, a large flamboyant species. Terry is excited to describe it.

Dave Behrens
Sammamish, WA 98074
Oct., 2021
Send Dave email at

Image courtesy of Annie Crawley

For the past 25 years Annie Crawley has worked around the world with cameras in hand, mostly below the surface of our ocean. Born and raised in Chicago, she didn't explore the ocean until after college. Taking a calculated risk, she sold her car to purchase her first underwater camera systems and never looked back. Her work has been published and broadcast to a worldwide audience. As an underwater explorer, she continues her mission connecting people to the ocean as a filmmaker, motivational speaker, photographer, writer, and a PADI Master Scuba Diving Instructor.

Annie was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2010, earned a Master of Communications from the University of Washington, and continues to inspire audiences via multi-media presentations and partnerships. She created a series of illustrated books and programs to entertain, educate and awe people about life within our ocean. She works in the Greater Seattle area with a dive team of kids and teens documenting their unique experiences. As a master storyteller she runs programs teaching the art of photography, video, and workshops year round. The Our Ocean and You Campaign, has reached tens of thousands of students and continues to create partnerships with communities around the world to promote love for the sea and understand the importance of ocean health. Follow Annie to experience the beauty and wonder of exploring our world. You can find out more about Annie here

Annie shoots with a Canon 1DX Mark II, Light and Motion Dive Lights, and a Nauticam Housing.


Send Annie mail at

Attention all you Sluggers, and you know who you are!

The NSSI 2nd edition is now available in ebook PDF and book form . The hard back version will become available Nov. 1st. Both will cost $65 (individually).

You will need to jump through a few hoops to get the electronic version as pdf distribution is protected by Adobe ID!! Please read the following to enable reading your electronic purchase!

This new 2nd Edition is updated and reorganized, including 185 new species. Among other features, the new edition includes additional photographs of species, an identification key, and an up-to-date classification reflecting the latest evolutionary relationships. The Indo-Pacific represents the largest expanse of tropical ocean in the world, stretching from the Indian Ocean coast of southern Africa and the Red Sea to the central Pacific of the Hawaiian Islands, Easter Island and the Marquesas.

This region supports the most diverse marine fauna of any place in the world for most groups of marine organisms. The nudibranchs and sea slugs are no exception to this rule; there are about 3,000 described species of these organisms in the world and at least 40% of these have been found exclusively in the Indo-Pacific tropics. This book illustrates 2,138 Indo-Pacific nudibranchs and sea slugs, including many undescribed species.

From left to right, Terry Gosliner, Angel Valdes, Dave Behrens La Jolla, Calif.

Send Dave email at

© The Slug Site, Michael D. Miller 2021. All Rights Reserved.