Melibe colemani

Image courtesy of Mike Bartick
Photo taken at Anilao, Batangas, Philippines

Melibe colemani
Anilao, Philippines, Workshop 1
Photo courtesy of Dave Cowdery

The Webmaster is filling in for Dave Behrens who is taking a well deserved rest after presenting back to back nudi workshops at Crystal Blue Resort in the Anilao, Batangas region of the Philippines, an area as most of you sluggers know is fast becoming a Mecca for sea slug enthusiasts. Before preceding further, the reader is invited to review what has already been put up on the site regarding Melibe colemani BOW 804 and BOW 857 When Terry Gosliner first proposed that the Melibe colemani in was indeed something other than Melibe engeli (Courtesy of Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum). My inclination was to think "what has Terry been smoking in his pipe lately" but I knew better and as usual science prevailed over unfounded notions. Terry and Marta Pola went on to describe Neville Coleman's original specimen as M. colemani .

It is now evident from many sightings that M. colemani is probably more prevalent in the Indo-Pacific than anyone imagined, but to what degree, no one knows as it is so difficult to find! As with Miamira alleni, I am beginning to wonder just how many times we swam right over M. colemani and didn't even realize it was there. After all, if you believe in "pattern recognition" there not much stored in the inner vaults of our brain that could lend assistance in identifying this guy!

The problem with putting M. colemani on your "been there, done that" list is two fold! (1) You or your guide have to find it in the first place. I'm not even sure I could find it after seeing it twice now! (2) The photography approach comes into play with M. colemani big time! The photography has to bring the subject from the level of and unrecognizable tangle of appendages to a vibrant, living animal you and your friends can identify with. This is very difficult to do. A number of U/W photographers have done it, including Mike Bartick as evident from the photos Mike graciously provided for this presentation. Actually I think the video Mike took of this guy really does a better job in filling the "recognition gap" our brain experiences with M. colemani . Video anyone?

For those of you that were fortunate to attend either one of the nudi workshops that Dave and Mike put together at Crystal Blue resort, you were able to take both M. colemani and M. alleni off your "bucket list" branchs! Not bad for the price the workshop charged! Even included an excellent presentation by Dave Mullins from Brisbane on slugging in his "back yard"! As an added bonus, Mike gave some very excellent tech talks on how to get the photograph that will set your friends in awe!

More information on the back to back workshops will follow in subsequent presentations!


Terrence Gosliner & Marta Pola (2012): Diversification of filter-feeding nudibranchs: two remarkable new species of Melibe (Opisthobranchia: Tethyiidae) from the tropical western Pacific, Systematics and Biodiversity, 10:3, 333-349

Mike Miller
San Diego, Calif
Apr., 2016
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Mike Bartick as managing editor for California Dive Magazine
Mike Bartick is a Marine Wildlife Photographer residing in Anilao, Philippines, with an insatiable love for finding unique marine life, observing and photographing its behavior and sharing his insight and knowledge with others. His curiosity and drive for first-hand experience has lead him across the globe in search of that special critter encounter. Mike is a widely published Photographer, writer and international speaker with work appearing monthly in international magazines, websites and internet publications. He also hosts photo clinics and seminars concentrating on the different aspects of Underwater Photography and the natural history of South East Asia and the Indo-Pacific.

Mikes Gear- Mike is currently shooting with a Nikon D7100 in a sea and sea housing. He uses Sea and Sea strobes and or INON Z240. Mike also uses the Retra Ultimate Snoot in many of his images to eliminate busy backgrounds and to halite his subject

Mike is regarded as an expert in his field and enjoys being in the water as much as possible and agrees that the next best thing to being there, is talking about his experiences.

Mike is the Photo-pro for Crystal Blue Resort i Anilao, Philippines. He hosts Photo and natural history workshops each month and is usually underwater.

Contact him by e-mail- at for more info or visit the Crystal Blue Resort Website.

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

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