Chelidonura alexisi

Dauin, Negros Oriental, Philippines,
Image courtesy of Gorden Tillen

Chelidonura alexisi Gosliner 2015

This new species of Aglajid is named in a recent paper by Dr. Terry Gosliner to recognize Philippine dive guide and photographer Alexis Principe, who has discovered several new species in the Philippines. This new species was first collected by Alexis back in 2009. The only picture of this collection can be seen on Jeff Rosenfeld's Vibrant Sea website. Chelidonura alexsi has subsequently been seen at Dauin (above) and Puerto Galera, both locations also in the Philippines.

It is about 30 mm in length and uniform black in color with minute white specks coving the body, except for the foot. The head has four lobes and a series of sensory bristles along the anterior margin.

C. alexisi is similar to C. sandrana and C. inornata, but differences in coloration exist. Additionally, the shape of the head is diagnostic.

This is just one of dozens of new species that have been found recently in the Verdi Island Passage, which separates southern Luzon Island from northern Mindoro Island in the Philippines, and is now thought to be the center of marine biodiversity in the Indo-Pacific.

This is one of many species we will have our eyes open for during next March's Nudibranch Workshop in Anilao. Join us for a great Branching experience.

Dave Behrens
Sammamish, WA 98074
July., 2015
Send Dave email at

Alexis at left with Terry Gosliner, Gerald Allen and Roger Steene at Club Ocellaris

Alexis caught the diving bug in 1992 while in college. Graduating with a degree in BS Zoology and specializing in Marine Ecology, he found himself doing Coral Reef Assessments, specifically in Reef Fish identification and population assessments for work. For a time, he was also involved in NGO-work focusing on Coastal Resources Management in and around the Philippines -- assisting and capacitating fishermen and coastal communities in setting up marine sanctuaries by conducting seminars and workshops to bridge the gap between science and local knowledge.

In 2002, he began moonlighting as a dive guide in Club Ocellaris in between his regular work as the Environmental Officer and Research Coordinator for the Dos Palmas Marine Research Station until 2008. His first shots as an underwater photography hobbyist were taken using a Canon G2 during this period. He currently spends more time guiding underwater photographers in Anilao, Batangas and occasionally joins Reef Assessment and Monitoring Surveys, the latest areas being Apo Reef National Marine Park for the World Wildlife Fund and Lubang-Looc (largest Marine Protected Area in the whole Verde Island Passage) for Conservation International.

Alexis Principe
July, 2015
Send Alexis email at

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

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