April 2020 PODs

Bill’s “Pictures of the Day” from April 2020

Here is a nice little Phyllodesmium undulatum from Lembeh. He was crawling on a nice red sponge. These sea slugs use the chemicals from their food for defense. Sequestration of chemicals seems to have influenced speciation and evolution of Phyllodesmium species in the sense that a given food makes the difference between some of the species. You can see his digestive system in the cerata. Glad we are not like that, it would be disturbing to see what you had for lunch just by looking.

Here are two whip coral obligate species staring each other down, or maybe the goby is laughing at the nose on the xeno crab. In any case, these were guys I used to get excited to shoot then gave them up for more "cool" critters. But these guys are worth another look, I think.

Shortly after the goby in the previous picture ran away laughing at this guy's nose I got a shot of the crab all alone. I suspect that the brown stuff on his nose is algae, probably he put it there to help with camouflage. These guys eat algae as well, perhaps this is his pantry, fully stocked just in case.

Here is another view of the Phyllodesmium from the other day. A sharp eyed friend, nudibranch wizard Kevin Lee noticed it might have three rhinophores and indeed it does. Thanks Kevin. By the way, Phyllodesmium are one type of slug that is actually good for fish and other animals to possibly eat, they do not accumulate poisons or nematocysts like so many other nudibranchs and rely on camouflage, but this guy didn't apparently get the message, he was very easy to spot.

Here is a nice little H. iacula from Lembeh. This is one of the prettier (in my view) nudibranchs and we don't seem them often. It is not clear how these guys defend themselves, reading about them I came across this. "One of these, H. fontandraui, lacks the mantle dermal formations (repugnatorial glands) that are typically found in other members of this circle and are reservoirs of feeding deterrent compounds.” We had a cat once that had his own repugnatorial glands and he was happy to use them. 

It is just about a month from Mother's Day, but I want to jump the gun. Here is a cute little mantis shrimp, carrying around her brood of eggs. From Lembeh, in February.

I love blennies. They are one of the cutest guys around. Here is a smile on a rainy day (at least here in SoCal). From Lembeh.

Here is a UTB jelly from Lembeh. A medusa of some kind and quite small maybe 3/4 inch in diameter.

Now the mollusc.

Here is a Dorisprismatica (nee Glossidoris) atromarginata from Lembeh. This is the guy that does the chemistry cited above, proving that even brainless (mostly) tiny creatures are better chemists than we humans (it would take a big team several years to make all those compounds from scratch). He is sitting on my makeshift stage, a piece of wood sitting on the bottom.

Here is a nice little C. elizabethina from Lembeh.  He is sitting on my makeshift wooden stage. I always try to find out some interesting scientific facts about my subjects and this paper just showed up. I haven't read it but the title is scary (at least if you are a guy).

Disposable penis and its replenishment in a simultaneous hermaphrodite

Biol Lett. 2013 Feb 13;9(2):20121150. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.1150. Print 2013 Apr 23; Sekizawa A1, Seki S, Tokuzato M, Shiga S, Nakashima Y.

Here is a nice little H. melanesica (I think) from Lembeh. If you look in the latest version of Gosliner's book, this guy would appear to be melanesica from the description. It might be bullocki but if you read the description it shouldn't be. Unfortunately in the book the photographs and the descriptions are often orthogonal.

Tiny (UTB) octopus from black water dive in Lembeh.

Here is a squid from a BlackWater dive in Lembeh earlier this year.  Also, after looking at quite a few other angles on yesterday's BW photo, I am now thinking that it most likely was not an octopus but rather a very teeny squid. In an case this one is a squid.

Nice little flatworm from Blackwater dive in Lembeh (NAD).

Here is a nice little bagless glassfish (he is the only member of his genus) from a night dive in Lembeh (blackwater). In Japanese is name is Tokonatsu-ibodai which to me at least sounds better than bagless glassfish.

Here is a nice little (not so little) Steene's dottyback from Komodo. This was shot with the square fun house mirror reflecting tubes. Hopefully this is good for a smile (some of us could really use one right about now).

Whenever we find leopard anemones (Antiparactis sp.) we look for the leopard anemone shrimp. No dice on this dive with friends on the Damai (Nannette of course off by herself found the shrimp). In any case here is the anemone.

© 2020 Nannette and Bill Van Antwerp