New-dibranch: Acanthodoris rhodoceras
I love finding new critters I've never seen before.
Sunday, Mat spotted this adorable tiny nudibranch in about 100 feet of water. We were diving off the Pacific Star near Blue Cavern on Catalina Island.
It was a brave little thing, too; when I crash-landed into the sand next to it (oops), it retracted its little nudibranch gills for only a second before getting back to what it was doing prior to my rude interruption. Clearly, I am not a threat.
We IDed it as Acanthodoris rhodoceras ("red horns"). Acanthodoris rhodoceras has a bright white papillated body with yellow and black marginal bands and black-tipped rhinopores and gills. Some variations also have black tips on the dorsal papillations.
This one looks like it could be munching on some sort of bryozoan. Yum!