Saturday, August 25, 2007

Phyllidiopsis sphingis

Thanks to Bill Rudman at Sea Slug Forum I now have a name and official identification for this little guy. Here is what Bill had to say about this particular nudibranch:

"Dear Harry,

This is a nice find. It's Phyllidiopsis sphingis which is known from a very few records from a few parts of the western Pacific, including Guam, Hawaii, and Madang in Papua New Guinea. If you look carefully you can see white granules scattered through the skin near the mantle edge. These are small glands but I suspect they increase the opacity of the mantle around the edge and enhance the 'blueness' and reflectivity of the border.

Best wishes, Bill Rudman"

You can go directly to the link for his comment on Sea Slug Forum. I knew that I was excited when I saw this little guy just because I had never seen anything like him before, but it's even more exciting when the experts get excited about it because it's something that there are very few records or pictures of. It's all part of why I think it's so valuable to share the information we find and gather, you just never know what piece of the puzzle you might be holding and how significant it might be.

Well, as much as I enjoy writing here and blogging, it's time for me to go to work. Yup, that's right, I can actually call diving work now since I'll be writing about it in Stars & Stripes. So...................Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work I go, with my mask and fins, and my oversize tank Hi Ho, it's off to work I go!