Atagema c.f. sp. 7

Image courtesy of Lindsay Warren
Photo taken at Crystal Blue house reef, Anilao, Philippines during night dive 7 April 2016
Nikon D300s in Aquatica housing, 60 mm lens, Macromate wet diopter, 1 x Inon Z-240 strobe
L: 40 mm, D: 14 m

Atagema c.f. sp. 7 (in NSSI, undescribed)

Until we have an opportunity to properly sequence all the undescribed Atagema we currently have, and do complete internal morphology workups, it is really hard to say from a photograph, which is which, so I am going with a "c.f." on this guy, but it sure looks like what we have called Atagema sp. 7 in Nudibranch and Sea Slug Identification. .

This is just one more of the undescribed species we observed at the 2016 Slugfest in Anilao, Philippines, at the Crystal Blue Resort.

Its body is a uniform off-white to grey. More importantly is the dorsal network of complex ridges and compound stellate clusters of caryophyllidia. In Lindsay's excellent photo you can clearly see the spicules protruding from each caryophyllidia. Excellent. An obvious gill sheath is also visible at the posterior end of the dorsum.

Come join us in May of 2017 at the Nudibranch Festival and see this interesting cryptic species for yourself. It is known only from Anilao.

Dave Behrens
Sammamish, WA 98074
July., 2016
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Lindsay Warren

Lindsay's fascination with all things aquatic began as a small child and this has carried on throughout her life. However it was only when at university that she discovered that she, a mere mortal, could actually learn to scuba dive. Beginning in 1974 with her first OW dive in 1975 near Marseilles, she noted in her logbook finding her first nudibranch but had no idea what it was at the time. However many years later was happily able to identify it.

On the photographic front, the only reason she ever took it up was purely to document what she saw when diving. She started with a second hand Nikonos II, then a Nikonos III and later progressed to a Nikon F3 in an Aquatica housing only moving to digital in 2011. However she also became an accomplished photographer of land & air wildlife, human life events, of capturing special moments. And yet still her first love remains with marine life, especially opisthobranchs.

Having dived in many areas of the world including UK, the Mediterranean, (Spain, France, Corsica), Red Sea, Bahamas, USA (Florida, California, Hawaii), St Lucia, Montserrat, South Africa, Madagascar, Brazil, Fiji, Tonga, French Polynesia, the Tukang Besi Archipelago, SE Sulawesi, Lindsay now spends most of her time in Indonesia diving in places such as Bali, Alor, Lembeh as well as Komodo, Flores, Sumbawa, but has also recently ventured further afield to the species-rich Philippines.

As some of you probably already know, Lindsay spent several seasons in the mid to late 1990s in the Wakatobi National Park islands (Tukang Besi Archipelago, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia) with Operation Wallacea. I am sure it is there that she perfected her technique of non-invasive underwater photography, something I will never master. Lindsay is able to photograph with a 105 mm lens and Macromate wet diopter 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 was a prolific contributor to Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum when it was still an active site but she continues to look for and photograph opisthobranchs of all kinds sharing her finds with us.

Lindsay's shots of Atagema sp. were taken during a night dive in front of the Crystal Blue Resort during SlugFest 2016. Other divers were queuing up to take shots of a Melibe colemani but, not one to want to waste her time, Lindsay did her 'own thing' nearby and by chance spotted this highly cryptic species. Originally thought to be Atagema sp. 7 in Gosliner, Valdes & Behrens, 2015, Terry Gosliner has since confirmed that this is a distinct new species!

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For you U/W photographers, Lindsay's approach to shooting macro with a 105 mm lens in an non invasive manner deserves a second reading! I first observed her technique a couple of years ago on a Graham Abbott trip that we were both on to the Komodos and had to ask her if she was indeed using a 105 to shoot macro and super macro in a "hoovering mode". I felt like a dunce when Lindsay replied in the affirmative to a technique that based on my experience did not lend itself well to getting images in focus! Lindsay must have taken some time perfecting her breathing and other factors that would enable a sharp image! On another note, our underwater photography paths did parallel to some extent. I first started with a Nikons III, then to a Tussey T-300 and Nikon FM2 in a housing! From there as with Lindsay, a Nikon F3 with sportsfinder in a Tussey Proline Housing although my film days ended in 2004. The Nikon F3 system remains dear to my U/W heart to this day!

Michael Miller
San Diego, Calif

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

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