Filed Under: Macro

Sexy Shrimp

… No, really, that’s what it’s called. Thor amboinensis, also known as the Sexy Shrimp, lives symbiotically on another invertebrate–most often a sea anemone–trading cleaning service for protection. It’s called “sexy” because it twerks its little tail as it dances around its anemone. This shrimp, found in Anilao, Philippines, was about half an inch long.

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Seahorse, Westpunt, Curaçao

The Recalcitrant Seahorse

Once upon a time, in a magical far away land called Curaçao, there was a seahorse.   And it was a jerk.   Every time I approached it with my camera, it would turn its back to me. Every. Single. Time. Sometimes, it even just got up and walked away. I hated that seahorse. And []

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Wednesday Link Roundup: Muck Diving in the Philippines, Shooting Supermacro with Wet Diopters, Diving Cleopatra’s Sunken Palace

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m spending the next week and a half in Anilao, Philippines, one of the muck diving Meccas of the world. Muck diving is so named for the muddy bottom composition at the dive site. This sediment is home to a host of exotic critters, such as nudibranchs, frogfish, pygmy seahorses, and blue ringed []

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The Ruby E: One of San Diego’s Most Richly Historied Shipwrecks

The Ruby E, one of San Diego’s premiere wrecks for divers, has a rich and colorful history. Although initially commissioned to intercept Prohibition-Era alcohol shipments on behalf of the United States Coast Guard, she also assisted in Bering Sea patrols, thwarted Japanese task forces in the Aleutian Islands during WWII, and worked as a commercial fish processing boat in Central America. She now rests in 85′ of water outside of Mission Bay.

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Sarcastic Fringehead

Diving at La Jolla Shores is like Going to the Zoo…

… In that I always seem to end up seeing one of everything. Seriously, head down there with a creature checklist and cross it off, and then ascend when you’ve seen it all. WOW, what an amazing night dive at La Jolla Shores. We went in at 8pm and dropped into about 15 feet of []

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Melibe leonina nudibranch

Melibe leonina nudibranchs are weird and awesome

Nudibranchs never cease to amaze me. Just when I think I’ve had enough nudibranchs for, like, ever, a new one I’ve never seen before comes along and voilà, instant nudibranch love affair all over again. I’d seen the Melibe leonina nudibranch in photos but never in the flesh (in the slime?). Then we went for a shore []

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The Sea of Cortez is Riddled with Nudibranchs

Being the kiss of death that I am when it comes to dive trips and good conditions, I shouldn’t have been surprised when we arrived in the Sea of Cortez to find cold, green, murky, Socal-esque water. For months prior to the trip, I entertained fantasies of seeing whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, orcas, manta rays, []

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Acanthodoris rhodoceras nudibranch

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 []

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Spanish Shawl nudibranch

A Sojourn with the Shawls

So I was having some issues with my strobe connection, which made my lighting situation pretty much suck, especially when it was called upon to light anything farther than 0.000000001 cm away. Incidentally, there aren’t a whole hell of a lot of sea creatures who tolerate that kind of proximity to us noisy bubble-blowers. So I opted for my old standby, the nudibranch, which either doesn’t care or can’t get away or both. And Spanish Shawls were all over the rocks. Awesome!

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Curaçao: Stunning Slugs, Snails, and Worms, or… the Pretty Yucky Stuff

Christmas Tree Worm Go anywhere stateside after Thanksgiving (hell, after Halloween), and Christmas stuff is everywhere. We arrived in Curaçao Thanksgiving Day, and I don’t recall seeing anything glaringly festive. That’s OK. The only Christmas tree I needed in the Caribbean was of the worm variety. Possibly the prettiest worm ever: the Christmas Tree Worm. []

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Casa de Balboa archways at Balboa Park, San Diego, California

Balboa Park: El Prado, San Diego, CA

This weekend, I visited Balboa Park in San Diego, California for the first time. Wow-what a cool spot! I can’t wait to go back and spend more time there. I spent most of my morning in the park’s El Prado area. Balboa Park Balboa Park is a 1200-acre green space in San Diego, CA. Named for the []

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San Diego Nudibranchs: Hermissenda crassicornis

When the visibility gets tough, the tough find nudibranchs

San Diego Nudibranchs A swell that has been plaguing the San Diego coastline with rough surf (seemingly forever…) finally subsided late last week, just in time for our scheduled Easter Sunday boat dive. Visibility was severely compromised, though, as a result of the extended period of rough ocean conditions. The water was green and murky… []

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Peltodoris nobilis - sea lemon (noble dorid)

Nudibranchs: The Sea Lemon

Anisodoris nobilis, or the noble dorid nudibranch, is also known as the sea lemon. This name is not only attributable to its yellow color, but apparently also to a citrusy smell it can give off when it is handled. Unlike many tinier nudibranchs, the sea lemon can reach up to around five inches in length. []

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