Tambja affinis (Eliot, 1904)
Images and graphics courtesy of Marcel Tanke
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Check out this amazing dive report from friend and awesome photographer Marcel Tanke. Here is his report from Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

"After having in the past years, 2 times dived near the area of the famous Thistlegorm wreck (discovered by Jaques Cousteau), I finally got to dive on it last week. Although in general, I am not crazy about wrecks (mostly just rusted steel) this one was on my bucket list. We did 2 dives there, one inside and one outside. Very impressive.

Inside there are dozens of motorcycles, a truck, live mortars and other ammunition, etc.

The guide, knowing that I always look for nudibranchs, told me before the dive that there are "nudibranchs with orange stripes near the motorcycles." They seem to aggregate there, often under the motorcycles in an area that hardly sees any daylight. And yes, I found one, Tambja affinis. In this dark area it did not like the light of my strobe, it constantly turned away from the light."

Graphic of the British cargo steamship, Thistlegorm, wreck showing damaged hull.
It was sunk by German bomber aircraft in the Red Sea in 1941.

Tambja's hideout on the Thistlegorm

Dive conditions at the wreck.

Based upon Marcel's specimen here, Tambja affinis shows a degree of color variation, as his critter differs somewhat from the description in NSSI 2nd Edition.

Specimens are usually indigo to dark bluish black with a series of longitudinal yellow-green lines on the notum and sides. It has a lighter spot between the rhinophores, on the rhinophoral sheaths and base of gill. In Marcel's critter the marks are replaced with a whitish-green color. The rhinophores and gill are black but the outline on the gill branches is not the usual green, but bright yellow-orange. Aside from this slight variation, all other characteristics match.

This is a nice addition to our understanding of this Red Sea and Indian Ocean species.

Dave Behrens
New Braunfels, TX
Nov., 2023
Send Dave email at davidwbehrens@gmail.com
Send Marcel email at marceltanke52@gmail.com

Dave and Peg in Texas motif prior to move from
Washington to Texas

Marcel Tanke presently again lives in his native country, the Netherlands. He started diving during the 14 years that they lived in China and Korea. Marcel has BSAC Instructor diving level. Diving took him pretty much all over Asia and many other places. Nudibranchs became his main interest after several trips to the Philippines and Indonesia. Marcel is still using a "point and click" camera, currently Olympus TG-6.

Send Marcel email at marceltanke52@gmail.com

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

Send Dave email at davidwbehrens@gmail.com

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