The silt, sand and grit on the substrate of muck dives consists of a myriad of particles that look drab from a distance but up close actually can be seen to embody many colours. The ones that seem to attract our attention the most are the little white specks. White, or near white, of course is the colour of many shells and slugs and if nothing large is readily observed we concentrate on examining closely all of these and sometimes, just sometimes, we are rewarded with a nice little find. This occasional prize keeps us performing this tedious task time after time.
Our recent dives in the Mooloolah River on the Sunshine Coast Queensland have revealed a number of species new to our list but there is one species that we see nearly every time and that we had previously found on the ocean side of the breakwater, an undescribed species - a Goniodoridella, noted as sp. 1 on our list.
Usually in the 3 to 5 mm range we find on average 3 to 4 each time. Species of Goniodoridella bear elongate extrabranchial appendages providing protection for the tiny gills and have smooth rhinophores. This particular species is a little unusual in that the notal brim is not so prominent as in many of its Goniodoridella and Goniodoris brethren. Rather it is turned up instead of being flattened out and the extrabranchial processes arise from their posterior ends. The obvious and characteristic transverse brown stripe behind the rhinophores is sometimes accompanied by additional brown makings elsewhere on the dorsum.
Photo & text by David Mullins, La Balsa Park, Mooloolah River, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast.
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!