Trapania sp.

Image courtesy of Lindsay Warren
Bontoh, Sangeang Island nr NE Sumbawa, Indonesia

Lindsay Warren

Trapania sp.Undescribed

One of the more interesting finds on a Sept. 2013 trip to the Komodos-Rinca region of Indonesia was an undescribed Trapania that local underwater photographer Bob Yin first brought to my attention many years ago. The image eventually ended up on page 135 of the Indo-Pacific Nudibranch book. If my sometimes feeble memory serves me right, Bob took the image in the Samal Island area of Mindanao, Philippines.

Any how,this guy was put on my list of branchs to see which is an ever expanding compendia which will certainly never be realized in my lifetime, but neverthless serves as an incentive to get out whenever I can.

As it turned out, our group aboard the Ondina in Indonesia during Sept. 2013 was fortunate to be able to photograph several specimens of our undescribed Trapania . I was inclined to believe that we were in fact observing Trapania sp. 1 in the Indo-Pacific book until Lindsay Warren sent an image taken on the same trip which clearly indicates it could also be Trapania sp. 5 or as Lindsay observes in the following, they could all be the same species. The fact that both color variations were seen in the same general area further reinforces this idea. I for one agree. Let's hear from Lindsay:

"...In my view they could be either Trapania sp. 1 or sp. 5 in Gosliner, Behrens & Valdes 2008 or Trapania sp. 14 or 16 in Bill Rudman's Slug Forum. However, my inclination is that T. sp. 1, T. sp. 5, T. sp. 14 and T. sp. 16 are all the same species but then I am just an enthusiastic amateur and no expert!

All shots are from our dive trip on SMV Ondina from Labuan Bajo, Flores - Rinca - Sangeang Island - Bima, Sumbawa - Sangeang - Rinca - Sebayur Islands - Labuan Bajo, Flores 19-29 September 2013 with trip leader Graham Abbott , well known for his amazing ability in finding interesting marine beasts of all kinds.

All are from the same location: Bontoh, Sangeang Island nr NE Sumbawa, Indonesia. The site consists of a black sand slope with small clumps of rocks, some large sponges and patches of low reef in the shallows. Throughout the first dive I heard several small volcanic explosions from Sangeang's volcano. I just kept telling myself it was just 'burping' and relieving pressure. The Trapania were totally engrossed in the sponge on which they were found and photographed, and only barely moved between the 2 dives. All feature white-tipped rhinophores and oral tentacles, the body with cream patches of varying sizes or none at all..."

As most of you probably already know, Lindsay spent several seasons in the Wakatobi National Park islands (Tukang Besi Archipelago, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia) with Operation Wallacea. I am sure it is there she perfected her technique of non-invasive underwater photograpy, something I will never master. Lindsay is able to photograph with a 105 mm lens while hovering about the subject without actually settling down on the seascape. Once more, she is able to do this with macro and super macro subjects! The results are amazing as the reader can see!

Lindsay developed an early interest in all forms of marine life, particularly mollusca and has been diving since 1975. From 1996-2000 Lindsay took part in survey work carried out by Operation Wallacea in Indonesia. During this time, with the help of Op Wall volunteers, she began work on building a species list of opisthobranchs to be found in the area and she continues to work on the data and photographs collected during that time. However, her photographic interests extend beyond marine to all forms of wildlife and have been able to travel to many countries including South Africa and Madagascar known for their spectacular land-based and airborne wildlife as well as marine.

Lindsay has also been a prolific contributor to Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum through the years! Now spending extended periods of time in Bali and other parts of Indonesia, she continues to look for opisthobranchs of all kinds.

Michael Miller
San Diego, Calif
Jan., 2014
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