Sunday, July 5, 2015

Species List: Dropoff, Currimundi Reef, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, 02-07-2015

26 species sighted at Dropoff, Currimundi Reef, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast.

Julie, Terry and David on this excursion consisting of 1 x 70 minute and 1 x 73 minute dives in water depths of 14 m to 20 m. 12 m viz, 20 C water temp and no surge.

As better conditions return to the Sunshine Coast so we are seeing an increase in the
diversity and populations of the sea slugs. Dropoff is a site we have only dived twice before. There is a large "bluff" at the north-west corner of the plateau in this section of reef. We don't think we were right on the mark this time but the various terraces still held plenty of interesting growth and critters. They seemed to improve in variety and coverage the shallower we went which also meant we were moving away from the sandy substrate along the edge at the deepest part. The proximity of the sand there would affect sessile growth through smothering and abrasion in times of surge.

Take a moment to compare the differences between two specimens of Flabellina rubrolineata in the images below. Also compare the two different juvenile specimens of Hypselodoris jacksoni. Although both are the same size, one (in situ image) has all the features that allow us to recognise it as such whereas the other (microscope image) lacks the orange mantle margin, has a plain tail and exhibits a blue crescent anteriorly that has never been present in any specimens we have observed before, either juvenile or adult.

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

Ardeadoris aff. averni -/3
Cadlinella ornatissima 1/-
Chromodoris striatella 1/-
Dermatobranchus cf. primus 1/1
Dermatobranchus ornatus -/1
Doriprismatica atromarginata 1/-
Flabellina rubrolineata 1/1
Glossodoris vespa -/1
Goniobranchus cf. reticulatus -/1
Goniobranchus daphne 2/1
Goniobranchus geometricus 1/3
Goniobranchus splendidus 3/3
Goniodoridella savignyi 2/1
Hexabranchus sanguineus -/1
Hypselodoris jacksoni 2/4
Hypselodoris obscura 1/2
Hypselodoris sagamiensis -/1
Jorunna sp. 3 -/1
Noumea norba -/1
Phyllidia ocellata 2/1
Phyllidiella lizae -/2
Phyllidiella pustulosa 1/2
* Pteraeolidia ianthina 6/6
Sagaminopteron ornatum -/3
Tritoniopsis alba -/1
Tylodina corticalis -/1

Phyllidia ocellata

Cadlinella ornatissima

Goniobranchus splendidus

Substrate - rich and diverse

Goniobranchus geometricus - anterior 
mantle flapping

Hexabranchus sanguineus - juvenile

Sagaminopteron ornatum

Pteraeolidia ianthina - most numerous

Ardeadoris aff. averni - a pair

Hypselodoris obscura

Phyllidiella pustulosa

Goniodoridella savignyi

Tylodina corticalis

Hypselodoris jacksoni - juvenile - microscope

Hypselodoris jacksoni - juvenile - in situ

Flabellina rubrolineata - compare with below

Flabellina rubrolineata

Goniobranchus cf. reticulatus

Hypselodoris sagamiensis

Noumea norba

Jorunna sp. 3

Tritoniopsis alba