Our new Indo-Pacific Nudibranchs and Sea Slugs. contains 13 undescribed species of Armina and 21 undescribed species of the sister genus Dermatobranchus . Yet is seems like every trip we add another. Jim's great critter here could be one more. These nifty creatures hide under the sediment by day and emerge at night when their prey; various sea pens also emerge to feed in the current. The prey in this case is either a Veretillum or a Cavernularia. Both are club shaped sea pens with polyps covering the rachis. As you can see in Jim's amazing photo, the slug emerges from the sand and attacks one of the pens polyps. Often, teams of Armina will attack and devour a sea pen in hours, as seen in Armina sp. 2 . Jim's species suggests an undescribed species as the color pattern on the oral veil differs from other species we have seen: a yellow band, followed by black, then white. The black lines on the notum are also much thinner than in other species we are familiar with. When see behavioral shots like these, we realize just how active sea slugs are.
Nice work Jim!
Jim Black on location
Jim is retired from US Airways after 27 years as a pilot..., flying Captain on an Airbus 330 Internationally.
Diving since 1970...with over 5200 dives logged. Shoots Nikon F4s in housing and Nikonos RS.
Jim's photography has been featured in a number of books and publications including Helmut Debelius' Nudibranchs and Sea Snails of Gosliner, Behrens and Williams Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific. A photo of Jim petting a shark in "Sleeping Shark Caves" off Isla Mujeres Island, Mexico, taken by Amy Foster his significant other, recently appeared in Dave Behrens' Diving Guide to Cozumel, Cancun & The Riviera Maja.
Send Jim email at firstname.lastname@example.org