Image courtesy of Jeanette Johnson
Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands
The 12mm animal was found in a lagoon Halimeda patch in about 8m of water
Nikon D80 with a 105mm macro in a Subal housing
Copyright 2011

Caryophyllidia dorid sp. (undescribed)

Scott Johnson has spent most of his life diving the waters of the Marshall Islands where he lives and works, with his wife, Jeanette . How amazing is it, that after all these years, Scott is still tripping over new species? Makes you wonder if all those atom bomb tests conducted on Enewetak in the 1950's aren't still having some environmental effects as far away as Kwajalein where Scott and Jeanette live. Only kidding, Scott assures me all is well there.

We can't even put this one in a genus yet. We have included it as a Caryophyllidid dorid sp. 1 on Page 196 of Indo-Pacific Nudibranchs and Sea Slugs. Only internal analysis, which we have not completed yet, can determine generic placement.

It is a very characteristic species, having a dramatic color pattern on the dorsum. This pattern is a series of dark patches made up by clusters of darkly tipped caryophyllidia. Caryophyllidia are the microscopic organs on the dorsal surface of some dorid nudibranchs made up of spicule protruding dorsal tubercles. Our Caryophyllidia dorids sp. 1, 2 and 3, may represent variations in mantle color, of a single undescribed species.

For those of you who would like to see more of Scott and Jeanette's images, a visit to Marshall Island Sea Slugs is a must!

Only one question Scott - Does it glow in the dark?

Dave Behrens
Gig Harbor, Washington
April, 2011

That's Jan Kocian far left back row (with beard) and Scott Johnson third from right back row!
Enewetak Island, Jan. 1982

"...One distant night, a distress call came over the ship's radio. Russian fishing boat Kuska on way to fishing grounds in New Zealand had a dying man aboard and requested medical assistance. Well by the time the US Coast Guard and the State Department got things going ( there was not a doctor on Enewetak at that time), the man died. But the ship was allowed to come and anchor in the lagoon and since some of the technical people aboard our Egabrag II and the guys from the Mid-Pacific Marine Laboratory where Scott was working had a little bit of medical background ( more of the first aid kind), we were invited aboard the Russian trawler and given a tour. Afterward, as we returned to our ship, this group photo was taken..."

Jan Kocian
Whidbey Island, Washington
April, 2011
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From left to right, Terry Gosliner, Angle Valdes, Dave Behrens La Jolla, Calif.

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