Eubranchus sp. 14

Image courtesy of Alfred Jakoblich
River area, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia
Eubranchus sp. 14 (undescribed)

A truly spectacular Holiday gift. This undescribed Eubranchus , will bring holiday cheer into any Branchers life. It's Christmas tree-like ornaments are unbelievable. Like most of our trees it has more than one size and shape ornament.

Our webmaster ran this same species some time ago, but from the Seraya Secrets dive area at Villa Markisa Dive Resort. This dive spot is said to be one of a kind within the Indo-Pacific.

This newly discovered species, has a few hugely inflated cerata with a nipple-like apex, that contain a scantly branching white digestive gland. Laterally, the cerata are more typical, and not inflated. Its smooth rhinophores and oral tentacles are purple. You can see an eye spot at the base of the rhinophore. Although vision-less, many species have an evolving optical nerve below the spot. Recall that members of the genus Eubranchus differ from Cuthona only by having a radula with three teeth per row, the latter having only a single rachidian tooth.

The hydroid that Alfred's specimen is crawling on it most likely this species preferred food.

We will be looking for this species, during my three Nudibranch Workshops in June-July 2010, at the Villa Markisa Resort. Be there! You can check for details from the Reef & Rainforest (our agent) web site.

Webmaster Mike Miller and I would like to wish all of a wonderful Holiday Season and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Dave Behrens
Gig Harbor, Washington
Dec., 2009

WEBMASTER'S NOTES: Most of you are probably wondering how Alfred was able to capture the stunning image above? Probably the most formidable hurdle in this regard is finding the subject in the first place! Providence can play a key role here if you are fortunate enough to find the slug off its host where its camouflage protection is often lost. But as Alfred makes the point in his biography, it is probably more a matter of a lot of hard work and patience . Once the subject is in focus, one can hone in on photographic skills to capture images like Alfreds. Keep in mind the daunting challenge presented in the case of Eubranchus sp.14, it was probably 5mm or less! A short video show has been prepared in flash format and is based on Alfred's images captured during a two month stay in the Tulamben area of Bali. The show is about two minutes long and requires a broadband connection to download.

Alfred Jakoblich

Born in 1944, I started snorkeling at about 15 years old. Scuba diving followed in 1972. After 7 years of diving in Greece. In 1978, I made the first trip to the Maldives. After three times diving the Maldives, I made different diving trips and törns at Red Sea, Carribean Sea, Sea of Cortez, Australia (Great White Shark with Rodney Fox), Cocos Island, Galapagos. My first trip to the Bali/Tulamben area was in 1997. There my photographic interests shifted more and more to close ups and macro. Also, I have visted the Sulawesi/Lembeh area some seven times in sucession. Since about 2005, I have specialized in the documentation of nudibranches, but I try also to get a personal catalogue of all reef creatures of the Indo-Pacific. Actually I have about 500 to 600 different species of nudis and about 3000 species of all the others. You can estimate, that this is a lot of working to identify all these critters and to bring them into a digital database which I share with pictures of Martin Buschenreithner and some other friends. Since 2001 I am retired, ( I was chemist, working in a oil refinery, now I am hobby-biologist) so I have time to spend 2 months in Tulamben every year.

A few words about UW-Photo equipment. In 2005 I changed from analog to digital, now I use ( all the years) a Nikon D70 with zoom lens Micro-Nikkor 70 -180mm. Camera housing: Subal ND70. Flash: Subtronic alpha makro. My special technique to find rare (and mainly very small) nudis and other critters is: patience, patience, patience………..!!

Jakoblich Alfred
Dec. 2009

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

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