This is a nudibranch, a sea slug. The name stems from the open (branch like) gills near the tail end. They are probably the most beautiful creatures in the ocean! There are over 3000 species worldwide- they're fascinating, easy to follow once found, and make great photography subjects. They don't bite you, emit a foul odor, sneak up behind you, or otherwise ruin your day. They don't make good pets so they're not over-collected by divers, but they are rare enough to command your attention when seen. When you see a variety you haven't seen you never know if it's one that has been taxonomically classified and given a species name, or one that nobody has had the opportunity to classify (another good reason to take a photograph!)
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bboss (3578) 2005-01-13 19:00
I like your photo very much, great shape and colour.
An amazing creature, I would like to see one diving,
(not in the maldives any more I guess-I wonder what the tsunami has done to the reef? is there a reef anymore?)
I dont know anything about underwater photography, but I do think that the colours and details could be brought out with a little PP, so have posted a workshop. hope you like it
wata4no (0) 2005-01-13 20:25
Cool pic Cerdo! You should definitely post your pics on the other site: TrekNature so that those really interested in nature shots would give the deserving points to such a great shot. I have never seen a sea creature like this. Also, great note!
Motrem (2392) 2005-02-21 17:42
Very bizarre this creature, I find magnificent and well got colours. Thank you for the division(sharing)!
Bien bizarre cette créature, je trouve les couleurs merveilleuses et bien captées. Merci du partage!
danarm (157) 2006-10-11 19:02
Nudibranchs are indeed interesting creatures. What a neat shot. I saw the workshop. The clarity of this underwater shot is remarkable to me. TFS!
Pygmaeus (11) 2006-11-05 19:20
This is Jorunna funebris, a dorid nudibranch, which is very commonly found in association (particularly in SE Asia) with those species of blue sponges on which it feeds. Nice shot and i like the composition too, though scatter is always a prob with u/w shots. Always nice to find a fellow Nudi-hunter, good luck with your searches. And if you get anything you don't recognise, check out the Sea-Slug Forum for other like minded enthusiasts!