Phyllodesmium longicirrum (Bergh, 1905)
Well it has only taken me the better part of my life, but I finally had the opportunity to dive the amazing waters of the Sulawesi Province in Indonesia. Many of you have shared tales of these rich waters, and the great diversity of species living there. My trip was just as rewarding – Three species of Pygmy seahorse, numerous Scorpionfish, including Weedy, Paddle-flap, Leafy and Devilfish. The Frogfishes were amazing. And that is just my fishy first. The invertebrate list is even longer.
Little did I expect to see sea slugs species, a few of which my international renowned Brancher buddy, Dr. Terry Gosliner, had yet to experience in person. Of all the spectacular nudibranchs around the globe, Terry and I had never seen the solar-powered aeolid, Phyllodesmium longicirrun . It is not because the species is so rare. Heck most of you have your own photos of it. And it’s huge to boot, reaching 120 mm in length. How could you miss that?
This has always been one of my favorites species, due to its ability to sequester and farm the by-products of living zooxanthellae that this species acquires when feeding on its favorite substrate the soft coral, Sarcophyton. In Constantinos Petrinos’ close-up in Nudibranch Behavior you can clearly see the ramifications of the digestive glands , through which the symbiotic zooxanthellae are transported, and their nutrition by-products of photosynthesis, is returned to be utilized by the slug.
Although my photo above des not really show my elation in finally seeing this critter up front and personal, it does depict how the species spreads its cerata to field maximum sunlight on shallow reef flats.
I am returning to Sulawesi again this summer. This time it is to facilitate a 10 day reef ecology workshop. Five days will been within the Lembeh Straits, at the Lembeh Resort , and five days in the Bunaken National Park, at the Minahasa Lagoon Resort .
You are all invited. You are welcome to a promotional brochure and a more detailed agenda as seen below.
Who knows what we will find this trip????
“Close Up & Personal”
June 13 – 18 = 5 nights & 11 boat dives at Minahasa Lagoon Dive & Tours Club
Day 1; June 13: - Arrive and transfer to Minahasa Lagoon Dive & Tours Club - dive gear ready. PM intro/welcome/what to expect during the workshop.
At each resort dive location, we will choose two dive sites at each habitat type ie. muck, reef, grass etc.
Afternoon discussions will include review of days observations, identifications, explanations of behaviors observed and microscope work when possible.
Total for 10 nights / 11 days all inclusive with diving – $2,733 Not included is Bunaken Park Tag +- $18. or airfare .
E-mail Dave for specific program details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact your favorite Dive Travel Wholesaler for flights and booking information.