Tambja sp. 2

Image courtesy of Kevin Lee
Qwato Channel, Milne Bay, PNG
Nov. 2018

Image courtesy of Kevin Lee

Tambja sp. 2 (in NSSI 2nd Ed)

Webmaster Mike ran this knockout species back in December 2013 when Ali Hermosillo found it in Milne Bay, PNG. Well the gang found it again on their recent trip there. Kevin's close-ups really add to our understanding of this spectacularly colored species.

Tambja's do not make up a natural group, but rather a collection of several distinct clades of species. More work is needed to sort out the higher systematic of the group. Come on Marta (our Tambja expert), lets name this beauty.

Kevin's great pics clearly show the row of opaque white pustules with yellowish basal rings and purple centers along the notal margin. There are additional pustules on the body. All of these are ringed with a black line.

The rhinophores display a complex coloration which is captured perfectly here in the image to the left. Note the fine red specks along the edge of each lamellae. Image courtesy of Kevin Lee

Image courtesy of Kevin Lee

Another feature not previously described is that of the frontal veil. Surrounding the mouth, the veil is speckled reddish with a white spot on each lobe. The pustules on the notal margin merge above the veil in front of the rhinphores. A single round pustule is found between the rhinophores.

Image courtesy of Kevin Lee

Kevin was able to add to our knowledge of Tambja sp. 2 by documenting the egg ribbon, which as seen in the top photo is a white coil laid on edge.

A Postscript From Kevin:

Most nudibranch enthusiasts will immediately recognize the names Alicia Mckowen(aka Hermosillo), Jim Anderson, and Christiane Waldrich. What a delight to dive with these inveterate 'Branchers' in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea, this past November (2018). Of them, Ali, despite her claims otherwise, has not lost her skills in finding sea slugs, large, small, tiny, minuscule and rare (perhaps her prescription dive mask now helps). On one particular dive in Qwato Channel, Ali surfaced with excitement, "Wow, did you see those beautiful Tambja's?" Since some of us exclaimed a disappointing "no", we did our next dive in search of them. What are the chances of re-finding a nudibranch in the vast ocean? For Ali, easy. Not only did she locate Tambja sp. 2, she found two together, that had just mated and were laying eggs! What a treat it was to observe these beautiful nudibranchs together. Big thanks, Ali!

Dave Behrens
Sammamish, WA 98074
Jan., 2019
Send Dave email at davidwbehrens@gmail.com

Kevin Lee, Dave Behrens, and Christiane Waldrich
relaxing after a hard day of slug hunting at Villa Markisa Saraya, Bali,Indonesia!

Kevin certainly needs no introduction to the Southern California Dive Community! On an international level you may have encountered Kevin as he certainly gets around on a life time quest to photograph the many treasures of the undersea world.

Based in Fullerton, California, Kevin Lee's adventure gene has taken him to over forty countries. After learning to scuba dive, in 2002, he embraced underwater photography as a way of sharing the ocean's wonders with non-divers. Though aesthetics is important in his photography, Kevin also strives to capture unique perspectives that are of interest to marine biologists and other scientists who study ocean creatures and their anatomy/phylogeny.

Though Kevin photographs all marine life that fits in his macro lens, opisthobranchs are his favorite subject. He has photographed and collected invertebrate specimens, with proper permitting, all around the world for scientific research. These pursuits have taken him scuba diving in all Seven Continents, including Antarctica where water temperatures were 29F (-2C).

Kevin's work can be seen in the Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Orange, California, where his opisthobranch images are on permanent display. Other works have been exhibited at the Branford House, University of Connecticut; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Monterey Bay Aquarium; Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach; City of Los Angeles (ELC); and other venues. And of course, Kevin continues to contribute marine images for numerous magazines, newspapers, academic literature and many dive related publications.

To view more of Kevin's photography, visit diverkevin.com

Send Kevin email at diverkevin@gmail.com

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

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