Okenia sp.

Image courtesy of Pirjo Pellet
Wodong Bay in Flores, Ankermi Happy Dive Resort
Nikon D 300 in Sealux housing with Inon Z 240 strobes
Specimen size 5 mm
Copyright 2011, Pirjo Pellet

Okenia sp. (undescribed)

A few years back, while Terry Gosliner, Angel Valdes and I were going through literally thousands of photos, trying to determine how many species to include in Indo-Pacific Nudibranchs and Sea Slugs we found a series of photos of this amazing new Okenia. The photos were by Japanese photographer, Nishima Masayoshi. Honestly we had never seen anything like it, and dismissed the species thinking Masa must have taken the photo on the colder more temperate side of Japan.

More recently, Terry came across this little turkey while on the Hearst Expedition in the Philippines. This week's photo adds to the growing geographic range of the species coming from - Wodong Bay, on the Indonesian island of Flores.

There is nothing quite like this like critter. The papillations along the mantle edge, are short tooth-like structures. They elongate along the anterior edge of the mantle. Longer extra-branchial processes stream behind the gill. These are all tipped in yellow. Just above and below the series of papillations is a brown line. There is chalky white pigmentation over the translucent body. The tall perfoliate rhinophores vary in color, but may be tipped in brown as seen here.

Our list of Okenia's from the Indo-Pacific just keeps growing. Unbelievable. Watching our knowledge of this species grow, has been most rewarding. Keep your eyes open. The Webmaster and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Francis and Pirjo Pellet who reside in France for shifting our focus back to this amazing seaslug!

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.

Francis and Pirjo Pellet on location Lembeh Straits

I can't say enough about the Pellets and their slug hunting and photography skills although they probably don't need an introduction to readers of this site! The Pellets spent 10 days last June "sailing" from Alor to Flores and were participating in Dave Behren's Indonesian Nudibranch Workshop.. A good many of their finds are in the 5mm and below category which in my estimation is the ultimate challenge in sea slug hunting! Of course photographing something this small is by no means a "slam dunk" as in basketball parlance! The are focus and depth of field considerations which can drive the underwater photographer to exasperation. The Pellets , it goes without saying, excel in super macro photography of seaslugs!

Stay tuned in the weeks to come for further BOW's based on their finds!

Send Pirjo email at pirjo.pellet@free.fr

Michael Miller
San Diego, Calif
Dec. 2011

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

Send Dave email at davidwbehrens@gmail.com

© The Slug Site, Michael D. Miller 2011. All Rights Reserved.