The Stories of My Best Shots #20, ‘Notha Nudibranch

For five years I used to live and dive in beautiful San Diego, at the southwestern corner of the USA, close to Mexico, and on the coast of the great Pacific Ocean. Since moving away from there, I have visited a few times, and always taken the opportunity to dive. San Diego diving offers the fantastic kelp forests typical of colder waters, and quite a nudibranch (sea slugs) fauna. The Scripps Canyon, a submarine valley off the suburb of La Jolla, is particularly slug-rich.

A nudibranch from Scripps Canyon in Sandy Ego.

A nudibranch from Scripps Canyon in Sandy Ego.

That’s also where I shot this picture of a Flabellina iodinea. I like how the odd strobe angles make the bright blue body surface of the slug come out very three-dimensional. The large blue feelers in the front of the animal it uses for smelling. The orange tassels on its back are filled with cul-de sacs of the slug’s intestine: in there grow symbiotic algae, which help to feed the nudi. This happens in all nudibranchs belonging to the group of the aeolids.

The nudi is crawling between some strawberry anemones. I think their red complements the blue and orange of the slug quite well. I am looking forward to my next Sandiegan dive, and to photographing more of the temperate water marine life there.