Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Species List: Clown Reef, Gneering Shoals, Sunshine Coast, 06-04-2015

22 species sighted at Clown Reef, Gneering Shoals, Sunshine Coast.

Julie, Terry and David on this excursion consisting of 1 x 83 minute and 1 x 77 minute dives in water depths of 14m to 20m. 12m viz, 26C water temp and a little surge.

Surface conditions were the best they have been for quite awhile and everyone with a boat and no prior commitment was out on the water taking advantage of it. We decided to try Clown Reef on the Gneerings which is a little closer in than Wobby Rock of our last two dive excursions (about 0.5 nm). The surface did not look as clean but we were hopeful that under the top layer the viz  would open up - and so it did. Clown Reef offers a range of depths and a variety of substrate type and form. We are still struggling with our species count but were pleased to find the Gymnodoris sp. 3 again. The pair of unusual Dendrodoris nigra with the lumpy texture to the mantle have also only been seen once before from a much earlier inter-tidal search. The find of the day was the exquisite Elysia sp. 13, a new addition to our list.

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

Chromodoris elisabethina 1/1
Cratena lineata 1/-
Dendrodoris nigra -/2
Doriprismatica atromarginata 1/1
Elysia sp. 13 1/- (New species)
Goniobranchus aureopurpureus -/1
Goniobranchus geometricus -/2
Gymnodoris sp. 3 -/1
Halgerda albocristata 1/-
Halgerda aurantiomaculata -/1
Hexabranchus sanguineus 1/1
Hypselodoris jacksoni -/1
Hypselodoris sp. 3 1/-
Hypselodoris zephyra 1/-
Kaloplocamus acutus 1/-
Mexichromis trilineata 1/1
Phyllidia exquisita -/1
Phyllidiella lizae 3/1
Phyllidiella pustulosa 1/3
Thuridilla carlsoni 1/1
* Thuridilla splendens 6/2
Trinchesia ornata 1/1

Ideal surface conditions

Halgerda aurantiomaculata

Hypselodoris zephyra

Hypselodoris jacksoni

Creative substrate image

A very healthy and varied substrate

Cratena lineata

Phyllidiella lizae

Thuridilla splendens

Hypselodoris sp. 3 - juvenile

Hexabranchus sanguineus - juvenile

Halgerda albocristata

Kaloplocamus acutus

Goniobranchus aureopurpureus

Phyllidia exquisita

Trinchesia ornata

Goniobranchus geometricus

Mexichromis trilineata

Thuridilla carlsoni

Chromodoris elisabethina

Dendrodoris nigra -nodulose notum

Dendrodoris nigra - smaller of the pair

Gymnodoris sp. 3

Elysia sp. 13 - New species