Phyllodesmium sp.

Image courtesy of Nuswanto Lobbu
Ambon, Sept. 2019
Canon 5DSR with 100mm lens in Subal Housing

Image courtesy of Nus Lobbu
Ambon, Indonesia

Phyllodesmium sp. (newly discovered, undescribed)

So, like the rest of you, I have just been hunkered down in Sammamish, Washington, waiting for this darn virus to blow over. To kill time I have been studying all the taxonomic changes flooding in, and all my favorite names biting the dust. Bummer. About the most exciting thing to happen recently was I had to change a light bulb, and then this came in from Nus Lobbu. Holly smoke - what is it? I have never seen this one before.

I passed it around to the sea slug chorus line, but everyone agreed with me - it was new to them. So I guess I get the job of trying to ID it. Well - Okay - given it has smooth rhinophores and the cerata are densely packed and appear to lack ctenoblasts, the sac storing nematocysts at the tip of the cerata, I am going to guess it is a new Phyllodesmium.

To give this ID the stamp of approval, Nus sent the photo to the left of this creature on its food, a reddish colored octocoral. Perfect.

Nus reports this specimen to be about 3 cm in length, and found it in 20 meters of water at Ambon, Indonesia.

What an amazing, and truly beautiful find - just one of the many species featured in Nus' new book The Underwatersea Art of Indonesia

See below for information regarding the new book!

Dave Behrens
Sammamish, WA 98074
Sept., 2020
Send Dave Behrens email at
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Image courtesy of Nus Lobbu
Ambon, Indonesia

Nuswanto Lobbu, also known as Nus, was born and raised on the small island of Talaud, Northern Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Nus was among a privileged few who began their underwater adventure under the tutelage of the late Larry Smith, a legendary dive pioneer in the Lembeh Strait.

With over 25 years in the dive industry, Nus is world-renowned. His expertise and professionalism make him an adept dive guide with an extensive knowledge of photography and marine behaviour in addition to dive operations. Nus co-authored the award-winning book The Undersea Art of Indonesia. His photography has also been featured in local and international dive publications. Nus won 1st place in the macro category at the TDEX 2018 underwater photography competition and has also garnered an honourable mention in the Fish Behaviour category of the Ocean Geographic photo competition in 2017.

Nus is a certified instructor with CMAS, POSSI, SSI and SDI. Along with these dive credentials, he also holds a Mechanical Engineering degree.

Although Nus is probably well known to most of us, for those that are unacquainted with his work, recently named Nus as the photographer of the week! Well worth your time to visit the link!

Michael Miller

The Undersea Art of Indonesia by Charles Rawlings, Nuswanto Lobbu, and Leah Perez is the latest in a series of large format photographic underwater adventures penned by Charles et al. I own each one and thoroughly enjoy the amazement evident on first time reader's faces as they page through these marvelous volumes. As editor of the journal, American Conchologist, I have not only enjoyed and appreciated the photographic skills and adventurist spirit of Charles, but I have directly benefited over the years as he has provided me, and thus our readers, a plethora of high quality images of undersea life for use in the journal. Colors that leap off the page and images of minute alien-appearing organisms have been juxtaposed with first-time ever photographs of rare mollusks and camouflaged seashells in their natural environment.

With this latest adventure and book, it seems Charles, Nus, and Leah have decided to draw the reader's attention to the art possible with skilled photography and the wonders of nature found in Indonesian waters. Each image belongs behind glass, framed, and mounted on an exhibition wall. One section of panoramic images in unbelievably clear water, another of coral reef fishes and their myriad of colors, another of close up images of brightly colored organisms small enough to fit several in a soup spoon, and finally a section where the colors and patterns win out over any identification of the exact subject matter -- underwater abstract art in nature. This is a marvelous celebration of the wonders of life and as readers we are lucky to have this opportunity to share the very best of what Charles and company discovered in countless hours of underwater photography.

Thank you Charles, Nus, and Leah, I really look forward to sharing this newest volume of treasures and watching first time readers discover the beauty of your undersea world.

Thomas E. Eichhorst

editor -- American Conchologist Conchologists of America, Inc.

Webmaster's Notes:

The book will be carried by Amazon with the latest availability date set as Sept. 20th.

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

Send Dave email at

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