Thursday, May 22, 2014

Species List: Clown Reef, Gneering Shoals, Sunshine Coast, 20-05-2014

18 species sighted at Clown Reef, Gneering Shoals, Sunshine Coast.
Terry and David on this excursion consisting of 1 x 73 minute and 1 x 81 minute dives, in water depths of 15m to 19m. 21C water temp, 6m viz and some surge on top of the reef that dissipated once over the "leeward" edge.

Our original intention was to dive the waters around Old Woman Island but on descending there the viz just deteriorated the deeper we went until we touched the bottom without actually seeing it in 14m of water. We immediately aborted that dive and headed out towards the blinker on the Gneering Shoals looking for cleaner water. Out there on Clown Reef the viz improved but still not to the distance normally expected. The conditions were quite surgy on top but improved as we slipped over edge and worked along the wall. The species count and populations were not large but a couple of not so common species were sighted including Trinchesia sp. 18 a beautiful pink and cream aeolid, quite small and secretive in nature that we have only sighted once previously, up at Coolum.

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

Aegires flores 1/-
Bornella anguilla -/1
* Chromodoris elisabethina -/6
Dermatobranchus cf. primus 1/-
Doriprismatica atromarginata 2/-
Glossodoris vespa  1/1
Goniobranchus splendidus -/1
Hexabranchus sanguineus 1/1
Jorunna sp. 3 -/1
Mexichromis macropus 1/-
Miamira sinuata -/1
Phyllidia elegans 1/1
Phyllidia ocellata -/1
Phyllidiella lizae 1/1
Phyllidiella pustulosa 2/3
Phyllodesmium crypticum -/1
Thuridilla carlsoni 2/1
Trinchesia sp. 18 1/-

Reasonable surface conditions

Phyllidiella pustulosa

Doriprismatica atromarginata

Mexichromis macropus

Tolerable substrate conditions

Phyllidia ocellata

Bornella anguilla

Phyllidia elegans

Chromodoris elisabethina

Glossodoris vespa

Goniobranchus splendidus

Juvenile Hexabranchus sanguineus

Aegires flores

Phyllodesmium crypticum with its head buried

Phyllodesmium crypticum

Autotomized ceras - Phyllodesmium crypticum

Thuridilla carlsoni

Thuridilla carlsoni

Trinchesia sp. 18 - head buried

Miamira sinuata

Jorunna sp. 3