Monday, March 31, 2014

Species List: Clown Reef, Gneering Shoals, Sunshine Coast, 30-03-2014

24 species found at Clown Reef, Gneering Shoals, Sunshine Coast.
Terry and David on this excursion consisting of 1 x 70 minute and 1 x 79 minute dives in water depths of 15m to 20m. 15m viz, 25C water temp and no surge but an extremely strong southerly current that affected the entire depth of the water column and only easing slightly right down on the substrate.

The heavy rainfalls at the end of the week prompted us to head out to the Gneering Shoals to avoid the huge amount of runoff affecting the inshore areas. We decided upon Clown Reef because of its range of depths and also because it is about 4.5 nautical miles offshore. Struggling against the current certainly had an effect upon our air consumption on the first dive and also upon the critter count. We were much more settled on the second dive assisted no doubt by some slight easing of the current. We are suggesting that the Dendrodoris found under an old small coral plate is a new species for us (# 369) - Dendrodoris elongata - because we see differences between it and Dendrodoris sp. 1 already listed on the website. It is certainly not D. albopurpura or D. albobrunnea both also already found. That same pizza-sized coral plate delivered up two more toppings by way of a Phyllidiopsis cardinalis and two Dermatobranchus fortunata making it a valuable piece of real estate for the day's hunting. Dermatobranchus semilunus is also a species rarely sighted in our survey area.

Number of species sighted: 1st dive/2nd dive
* Species with highest specimen count

Aegires flores -/1
Berthellina citrina -/1
Bornella anguilla 1/-
Chromodoris elisabethina 2/1
Chromodoris splendida -/1
Dendrodoris elongata  -/1 (New species)
* Dermatobranchus cf. primus 2/3
Dermatobranchus fortunata -/2
Dermatobranchus rodmani -/1
Dermatobranchus semilunus 1/-
Doriprismatica atromarginata 2/1
Flabellina bicolor 1/1
Flabellina sp. 1 1/-
Glossodoris hikuerensis 1/-
Glossodoris vespa 1/-
Phyllidia coelestis -/1
Phyllidia varicosa -/1
Phyllidiella lizae 1/1
Phyllidiella pustulosa 3/1
Phyllidiopsis cardinalis -/1
Phyllodesmium macphersonae -/2
Trinchesia ornata -/1
Trinchesia sp. 6 -/1
Trinchesia sp. 20 1/-

Surface conditions - looking back 
towards Mooloolaba

Berthellina citrina

Phyllidia coelestis - juvenile

Glossodoris hikuerensis

Doriprismatica atromarginata

A pair of Chromodoris elisabethina

Phyllidiella pustulosa

Dermatobranchus semilunus

Glossodoris vespa - juvenile

Aegires flores

A pair of Dermatobranchus fortunata


Substrate - lots of soft and hard corals

Conditions during our surface interval 
looking out towards the blinker
- more boats than fish we think

Trinchesia sp. 20

Dermatobranchus cf. primus

Bornella anguilla

Dermatobranchus rodmani

Trinchesia sp. 6

Phyllidiopsis cardinalis

Dermatobranchus fortunata - a side view

Phyllidia varicosa

Chromodoris splendida - juvenile

Phyllodesmium macphersonae - mating pair

Dendrodoris elongata - body translucent,
 obvious tubercles on the mantle surface, 
centre row of brown spots and 
whitish stellate markings

Dendrodoris elongata

Dendrodoris elongata - gills withdrawn

Dendrodoris elongata