Trapania pallida

Image courtesy of Dr. Annetrudi Kress

Trapania pallida Kress 1968

I want to thank Dr. Annetrudi Kress for sending the site original photos from her description of Trapania pallida (Courtesy of Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum) back in 1968. The photos remind me of the progression, seaslug photography has undertaken thru the years to the present. I used to look askance at what is typically referred to as "tub shot photography" until Terry Gosliner showed me the error of my ways! Then too, one must remember that back in 1968 there weren't too many options to get "in situ" images of the slug!

The advent of underwater photography outside of military applications probably began with the Calypso camera which later evolved into the Nikonos 1 back in 1963. My first U/W camera was a Nikonos III with framers developed by a local San Diego outlet to enable close up photography with specialty macro lenses. Well this of course was a boon to sluggers world wide as it was now possible to get those "in situ" images. The limitation with framers was that you really didn't have the option to preview the image as digital cameras now allow and you worked with film with its constraining limitation of 36 shots before you had to reload.

With time, I moved from a Nikonos with framers to a housed Nikon SLR, the Nikon FM2 in a Tussey housing. From there to a Nikon F3 in a Tussey Proline housing with a sports finder and motor drive. About this time slug photography was coming into its own in terms of greater acceptance by my peers who looked upon slug photography as a venue for the less talented of our underwater photography group. In later years, my friend and underwater photography mentor, Tracy Clark elevated sea slug photography to a fine art! Tracy actually gave a tech talk on the proper way to photograph sea slugs at a San Diego Underwater Photographic Society meeting! My, how we have come a long way in this regard! In 2002, Jerry Allen (Miamira alleni fame) and I went to Okinawa to photograph slugs with Rie Nakano and Atushi Ono! In the evening, we drank beer and looked at images but the images we were looking at weren't ours! All of our Japanese friends were already shooting digital! In 2003 I made the switch from film to digital followed by a transition to digital video in 2005!

Well, I have certainly gone far afield with a BOW that generally concerns itself with taxonomy to strolling down slug photography memory lane! I think the common thread and overwhelming bonding agent between scientists and amateur sluggers like myself is our undying quest to know more about our Opisthobranch friends! What more can be said?

Dr. Hans Bertsch at Islas Coronados, Baja California, 1980 with framers
Photo courtesy of Dr. Hans Bertsch


Kress, A. (1968). Trapania pallida sp. nov. (Opisthobranchia, Gastropoda), a genus new to Britain. Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London 38: 161-165.

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Michael Miller
San Diego, Calif 92113
Sept., 2018
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From left to right, Terry Gosliner, Angel Valdes, Dave Behrens La Jolla, Calif.

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