Nudi Egg Salad

Great Dive Trips at Bargain Prices with the Sea Divers

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Posted by Merry on October 13, 2014 at 13:33:34:

As Phil said, this weekend, we hit the tiny nudi jackpot. So often we've carefully searched kelp blades for photo subjects and come up empty. But once again, this magical mecca we call Golf Ball Reef has provided us a bounty of 2 uncommon nudibranchs, and 1 possibly unknown.

If you see extremely small white commas on kelp, you're probably in for a treat.

 photo EggsonkelpDSC_8234_zpsb2d981e0.jpg

Why get so worked up about tiny slugs? Firstly, it's an opportunity to see a different species fulfilling its important role in the ecosystem. Secondly, some nudi species may disappear for years at a time, then reappear in a population explosion. This has previously been the case with Eubranchus rustyus below. It's wonderfully cryptic, blending in with its food sources, the common hydroids, Obelia and Plumularia.

 photo EubranchusrustyuspairDSC_8191_zps4a6cda3a.jpg

E. rustyus can reach 25 mm, but these were no more than 2 mm.

 photo EubranchusrustyusclusterDSC_8192_zpsebefe9d4.jpg

Eight or nine "rusties" can be seen in this field. There are probably more.

 photo EubranchusrustyusclusterDSC_8187_zps6d7bc9bc.jpg

Eggs gracefully decorate a hydroid stalk.

 photo EggytreeDSC_8283_zps67316741.jpg

Phil found this even smaller little beauty, Doto amyra cohabiting with Eubranchus. It's nearly beyond the limit of the lens I was using.

 photo DotoamyraDSC_8246_zps3edeb878.jpg

Can you make out all three Dotos? Start from left to right.

 photo DotosinarowDSC_8237_zps073b109f.jpg

 photo LittleDotolayingeggsDSC_8244_zpse1704cba.jpg

Cluster of Dotos laying eggs, with a Eubranchus on the left.

 photo TangleofDotoamyraDSC_8265_zps4aa9c7b4.jpg

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