Thorunna cf. florens

Images courtesy of Deb Aston
Edithburgh Jetty, South Australia

Thorunna florens (Baba, 1949)

Wow - what a knock out. At first I had no idea what is was, but quickly determined it is one of the many color variations of Thorunna florens. As a matter of fact John Chuck posted photos of an almost identical specimen, from southern Australia on the Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum in 2002. Man this species varies a bunch!

While I have not studied the internal anatomy of this amazing collection of variously colored critters, Bill Rudman offers that it is identical across the various distinctive color variants. Amazing. This is a perfect example of just how wide variation in opisthobranchs can be. I can't tell you how many times I have argued with associates over a species that they thought was a new species, just because of some small difference in coloration.

Dave Behrens
Gig Harbor, Washington
Apr., 2012

Deb with friend

Hi my name is Deb Aston and I began diving in 1983 and my early log books record the colours of the nudibranch that I had discovered but very little detail. In 2004 I purchased my first Canon compact camera and this meant at last I could ID the branchs I had found during my dives. I live in Brisbane, Australia and dive on a regular basis utilising our 4.6m Crusada rib ‘Duck Diver’. Our nearest shore dive is the Gold Coast Seaway which is 1 hrs drive south. It is here at the Seaway that I have begun to record the nudibranchs found and am amazed to report over 70 species found now since 1 July 2011. Most species are found during night dives.

My husband is also a diver and along with a great bunch of dives buds we have dived many Queensland sites as well as Nelson Bay in New South Wales and recently spent two months in South Australia checking out the southern species.

My current camera rig is a Canon 500D camera with 60mm & 18-55mm Canon and 10-17 Tonkina lenses with 2 Inon Z240 strobes connected with fibre optic. The housing is a Sea & Sea RDX450 housing and I use a Sola 600 as focus and night light.

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

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