Facelina annulicornis (Chamisso & Eysenhardt, 1821)
Why it is special to me - Not uncommon on the south of the UK extending down to Spain ( see OPK distribution map here), Facelina annulicornis (Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum) is considered rare in the northern waters around Scotland. I had only seen 1 specimen previous to this find in August this year. We were on a MCS Seasearch expedition diving the south western sea lochs on the island of Skye off the west coast to record as much as we could of the marine life, underwater environment etc.
On our first dive in Loch Slapin near the northern end I spotted 3 of this species at 17 metres - much excitement all round. Then 3 days later and 4 miles SW on the eastern shore we came across an aggregation of 8 animals, this time with spawn, on an isolated hydroid covered rock at 20 metres depth. What this reveals, maybe, is that we haven't been looking for this species in the right places or it is extending its range northwards with increasing sea temperatures. In life it has a beautiful 'sparkly' appearance that doesn't quite photograph well.
An architect who retired from practice in 2011, Jim Anderson is fascinated by the incredibly colourful world that lies just a short distance from the shore around the coast of his home in Scotland. He learned to dive there and very quickly discovered the diversity and extravagance of life that the grey sea does well to disguise. Photography started as a means of recording these sights - to try in some way to let others into this wonderful new world that was opening up.
He commenced diving in 1987 and has recorded over 4000 dives, over 2200 around Scotland, mostly with a camera in hand and has developed special skills in capturing images that have been widely published in national diving publications and identification guides. He is the proprietor of nudibranch.org the portal to his extensive nudibranch and other web sites covering his home country and the destinations he has visited in the Philippines, Indonesia, Maldives, Red Sea, Kenya, Ireland and in the Caribbean. He is a 1st Class Examiner with the Scottish Sub Aqua Club and delivers Nudibranch Identification courses on behalf of the UK Marine Conservation Society."
Send Jim mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
WEBMASTER'S NOTES: Jim is being rather modest about the rigors of diving for sea slugs in his home waters. Although not mentioned the reader can be assured that getting geared up in the waters off Scotland is a challenge in itself! Our hats are off to you Jim!