Saturday, June 8, 2013

Nudi Show

While photographing giant manta rays at Keauhou Bay, I happened upon two distinct species of nudibranchs during the course of the morning. The first was a Varicose Phyllidia (Phylidiella varicosa), a thick, robust slug which is sometimes referred to as a "fried egg nudibranch" due to its round yellow markings on an irregular white background.

Photos Copyright 2013 by Barry Fackler

Later, I found a small, pink-and-black Pustulose Phyllidia (Phylidiella pustulosa) slinking through some coral rubble appearing to be searching for cover.

Photos Copyright 2013 by Barry Fackler
I sometimes (maybe often) lament not being able to afford the expensive camera rigs the serious underwater photographers use. My equipment is just a compact "point-and-shoot" camera in a housing. However, those kits need to be set up specifically for macro or wide-angle prior to the dive. I would never have gotten photos of inch-long nudibranchs and mantas on the same dive with a "pro" kit. So, in a way, I have more flexibility and probably less frustration just taking underwater snapshots than trying to get on the cover of National Geographic.

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