Polycera quadrilineata

Image courtesy of Kevin Lee

Color Variation of Polycera quadrilineata
Image courtesy of Kevin Lee

Polycera quadrilineata (Muller, 1776)

It was a treat hunting and shooting nudibranchs with Jim Anderson, world-class nudiphile and expert on Scottish slugs. Surprisingly, Scottish waters, on both coasts, were very similar to SoCal's in August, with water temps ranging from 54-57 degrees Fahrenheit (12-14C).

Visibility also mimicked California, generally in the 10-16 foot range (3-5m), and pesky currents/surge often made photography a challenge. Nonetheless, we managed to find some Scottish beauties. Scotland is blessed with beautiful scenery and interesting folk.

Egg Mass of Polycera quadrilineata

WEBMASTER'S NOTES: Kevin's adventures remind me of the "energizer bunny!" He's no sooner back from the physically challenging diving in Scotland and is already taking on wish list mountain climbing in Southern California, albeit before the fire season commenced!

"...Those interested in the world's oldest (non-clonal) living trees, check out the White Mountains, near Big Pine, California, where I hiked/jogged at an elevation 11K feet. It was a near spiritual experience, communing with Methuselah and even older ancient bristlecones, over 5000 years old. The bristlecones grow very slowly in the xeric, high-altitude conditions. In fact, one inch of growth can represent 200 years of growth. The rings must be counted using a high magnification microscope. Some growth rings are only one cell wide! The bristlecone pine forest is truly an amazing place..."

Notes on Kevin's Camera Equipment:

"...I'm shooting a Nikon D800, in a Sea & Sea MDX housing, and employ dual YS-D2J strobes, although I find the best images result from single strobe lighting. Somehow I got the moniker "Mr. Macro". Although I have wide-angle equipage, I haven't used it for over a decade. Instead, I use a 60mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter, for faster focusing, over the 105mm lens (which is gathering dust). Also, for minuscule subjects, I deploy a Subsee 10x diopter, which flips over my port. I'd rather pass up 10 shots of a whale for one good image of a beautiful nudibranch. Thus, my macro lenses are practically welded to my camera. Surprisingly, I have photographed full body shark images, using this set up, when the water is clear enough..."

Well, I can see with Kevin's statement regarding his preference for shooting nudibranchs vs. whales, he probably puts himself at odds with most of the professional u/w photographers I know, but the what the heck, I am in complete accordance with Kevin which makes us both outliers in the U/W Film Festival crowd! After spending five days at Isla de Las Mujeres some years ago in a short sighted quest for whale shark video, I had nothing to show for the trip but 15 seconds of questionable video! That never ever happens on trips dedicated to slug hunting. Anyhow, that trip put an end to any thoughts I might have entertained about joining the ranks of the whales or I'm not interested crowd!

Kevin Lee
Nov. 2019
Send Kevin email at diverkevin@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

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 jander4454@gmail.com

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 both Jim and Kevin!

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