Hypselodoris picta

Image courtesy of David Guillemet
Cerbere, France, July, 2011
Nikon D90 + Aquatica Housing- 2 Ikelite strobes (DS125 + DS160)- Nikon 85mm AF-S Micro
Copyright 2011, Dave Guillemet

Hypselodoris picta (Schultz in Philippi, 1836) - revisited

Possibly the most variable species of Chromodorid nudibranch known. H. picta ranges in color from dark blue to this more common, faded yellow individual. The three most recent Mediterranean slug books (listed below) contain a total of nineteen photos of specimens to illustrate this variation. Wow.

A large species attaining 100mm in length, which lives on both coasts of the Atlantic, has been given a number of subspecific names depending on regional color variations. Other names for this species include: Hypselodoris elegans (Cantraine, 1835); Hypselodoris webbi (d'Orbigny, 1839); Hypselodoris valenciennesi (Cantraine, 1841); Hypselodoris edenticulata (White, 1952) and Hypselodoris tema Edmunds, 1981.


Cavignaux, G., J.M. Crouzet and S. Grall. 2011. Des Limaces de Reve - Opisthobranches de Mediterranee.
Trainito, E. 2003. Mediterranean Harlequins - A field guide to Mediterranean Sea Slugs.
Trainito, E. 2005. Nudibranchi del Mediterraneo.

Dave Behrens
Gig Harbor, Washington
Dec., 2011
Send Dave email at davidwbehrens@gmail.com

WEBMASTER'S NOTES: Join our renowned nudibranch expert David Behrens and photo pros Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock of Secret Sea Visions for 10 incredible nights at Lembeh Resort. Together, we’ll introduce you to Lembeh’s most exciting critters and show you how to photograph them as never before. Dave will handle all of your nudi questions, identifications, and help all of us recognize possible new species. Burt and Maurine will help you improve your photographic skills and offer several interesting “backdrops”, such as mirrors, blue and white “stages” on which to photograph nudis and the other interesting critters we find.

Save the dates: June 28-July 8, 2013. Lembeh Resort will host this not-to-be-missed dive adventure and has offered very attractive pricing for this special event only. Your dive package for the nudi workshop and photo seminar includes: a 2:1 diver to guide ratio, nitrox for the previously certified, 30 dives including 26 boat dives, 3 guided boat night or mandarinfish dives, 1 guided house reef night dive, unlimited self-guided shore dives, tanks, weights, transport to and from Manado’s international airport, all meals and snacks, 1 x 30 minute massage per guest. This incredible package is priced at $3300 per person based on double occupancy.

David Guillemet
Even if it was not really my first dives, this story began while I was on vacation on Columbus Island, Bahamas, on 2006, January. The weather was not very mild, and there was so much wind and swell that we could do only two dives. I was a one star CMAS diver, with not more than 7 dives, but it was a real revelation meetting that big hammerhead shark (so far as I remember it was an hammerhead, but I couldn't swear it...). From that day, I only have one thing in mind...diving!

Just after going back to France after that trip to Bahamas, I quickly became a ** CMAS diver and joined a diver association in Paris, called "AS Diderot12". After a few dives more, I was so frustated by knowing nothing about submarine life, that I decided to pass the first degree of the french scuba federation (ffessm) submarime biology course. It was a great year, learning so much about marine life and beginning understanding what I was seeing underwater... A few more dives later (in south of France and Red sea), while I was studying to get my fourth diver level (something like a dive master), I joined some friends of mine to leave for a 2 weeks dive cruise in Maldivia. I immediately thought it was a wonderful occasion to buy my first compact camera (Nikon P5100) and to try to make some pictures of all these submarine beauties which I was almost familiar with... I think that excepting training dives (as student or trainer), I didn't have made a dive without a camera anymore after that cruise in Maldivia, and I don't plan to do it... After one year and a half learning all about submarine photography by myself - and about photography in general - with the help of the french submarine photography forum, I was quite a bit frustrated by the limitations of my compact camera....it was the time to go to the next level and to buy a reflex camera! It was two years and a half before.

Now, I'm still using the same Nikon D90 into an Aquatica housing with two ikelite strobes. One of my lastest trip was a biology course in Cerbere (south of France), near the spanish frontier, that was dedicated to nudibranchs and called "Des Limaces de rÍve", what could be translated to something like "Dreaming Nudibranchs". This course was organized by Robert Oms , a well known french submarine biologist, assisted by Pirjo Pellet, another nudibranch specialist. It was the occasion to learn a lot of new things about these amazing marine citters and to simply observe some species we never have seen before.

Taking underwater pictures is definitively a great passion, and I try to share it by making all my pictures available on my own web site (http://www.davidphotosub.com), hopping to bring and share the same emotion I feel when I am underwater...

WEBMASTER'S NOTES : David can be quite proud of the image above. It entails all the qualities that can make an otherwise mundane image quite extraordinary in all respects! David's use of his strobes in achieving the subdued lightening effect was either very lucky or the result of a pains taking effort to capture the true essence of the subject! I suspect the latter! Our hats are off to you David! In closing, I would like to thank both David and Pirjo Pellet for making it possible for David's work to appear on this site!

Send David email at david.guillemet@noos.fr

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

Send Dave email at davidwbehrens@gmail.com

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