These are the boulders and rocks of the Mooloolah River lying in the silty sand of the channel bed and walls, washed by two high and two low tides every day. Photographed here in the approaching gloom of nightfall they seem somewhat barren and devoid of life other than the drab blanket of the ubiquitous algal and hydroid growths.
It is this innocuous covering together with the rich silt itself however that supports and nurtures the amazing diversity of opisthobranch life that we have been discovering there.
Our last dive at this site produced a species count of 18. Half of that total were species newly recorded for this particular site and 4 of those were species new to our overall Sunshine Coast Species List bringing the total supplied by this site to 21 from just 16 dives. Of that number 13 species are undescribed.
Not bad for a back-up foul weather site.
Text by David Mullins, photo by Julie Schubert, La Balsa Park,
We embarked upon this adventure of ours while diving here on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Upon realizing the amazing variety of nudibranchs we were seeing, we developed an appetite for not only finding as many different species as possible but identifying and learning all we could about these most amazing creatures of the sea.
nudibranch.com.au was born when a friend of Gary’s suggested we share our knowledge with the world. The site commenced in March 2003 when we set out on our quest to find, identify and record all of the nudibranchs here in our area. The ever changing sea and seasons give up new surprises every visit whether they are subtidal or intertidal.
We describe our searching and identifying component of the quest as The Treasure Hunt, and the recording thereof upon the web site as The Never Ending Story.
We welcome for inclusion on the site the findings of other workers in this area that we may not have yet recorded.
From this website a Nudibranch Identification book called Undersea Jewels - A Colour Guide to Nudibranchs was published in 2006. The book is a 'Colour Guide'. After all that is the first thing anyone remembers about first seeing a Nudibranch.
LOCATE, RECORD, IDENTIFY and POST every species of OPISTHOBRANCH to be found on the Sunshine Coast Queensland, Australia. Learn more>
To LOCATE through scuba diving and intertidal searching.
To RECORD by underwater and studio/taxonomic photography (including microscopy photography) of the specimens.
To IDENTIFY these speciesthrough invaluable support fromqualified authorities in this field and developing reference resources.
To POST upon our web site not only images of the species and their natural history behaviour but also information concerning size abundance and localities. Additionally to disseminate to other sites information considered unusual (see Useful Resources).
Towards achieving these aims we will continue to acquire and develop the necessary equipment, resources and knowledge.
Have fun, learn and enjoy the Earth's greatest creatures!