Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Species List: Terry's Delight, Arkwright Shoals, off Coolum, Sunshine Coast, 26-01-2015

32 species sighted at Terry's Delight, Arkwright Shoals, off Coolum, Sunshine Coast.

Julie, Terry & David on this Australia Day excursion consisting of 1 x 80 minute and 1 x 65 minute dives in depths between 14m & 18m. Water temperature 26C, viz 4-5m and increasing surge.

Surface conditions proved to be pleasant so we travelled up to the Arkwright Shoals hoping that the water clarity might be suitable. Visibility at the start of the first dive was an agreeable 5m but with the gradual increase in swell, and hence the surge below, the viz gradually dropped during the morning to less than 4m. The dive reel again became the diver's best friend as we searched further away from the anchor line. The first dive was pleasant the second hard work. Three species sighted that are not commonly found were Phyllodesmium koehleri, Thorunna sp. 1 and Trinchesia sp. 3. Also photographed a Gymnodoris alba with the noticeable and characteristic antero-lateral oral lappets. This convinces me that we have without doubt in the past recorded in amongst these some different but cryptic species.

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

Aegires citrinus 1/-
Aegires flores 1/3
Chromodoris elisabethina 2/2
Dermatobranchus ornatus 2/-
* Doriprismatica atromarginata 13/5
Elysia maoria -/1
Flabellina rubrolineata 1/1
Flabellina sp. 1 2/-
Glossodoris vespa 5/2
Goniobranchus collingwoodi -/1
Goniobranchus splendidus 3/-
Gymnodoris alba 1/-
Hexabranchus sanguineus -/1
Hypselodoris jacksoni 2/2
Hypselodoris sagamiensis -/1
Mexichromis festiva -/1
Mexichromis macropus -/1
Mexichromis trilineata 1/-
Noumea norba -/1
Phyllidia elegans 2/-
Phyllidia ocellata 2/-
Phyllidia varicosa -/2
Phyllidiella pustulosa 3/2
Phyllodesmium koehleri 1/-
Phyllodesmium magnum 2/-
Sagaminopteron ornatum 2/4
Thorunna sp. 1 -/2
Thuridilla splendens 3/1
Trinchesia sp. 1 -/1
Trinchesia sp. 3 2/1
Tritoniopsis alba 6/1
Tylodina corticalis -/1

A very healthy substrate

Tritoniopsis alba - a pair

Goniobranchus splendidus

Aegires citrinus

Phyllodesmium koehleri - uncommon

Phyllidia varicosa

Mexichromis festiva

Surface conditions - on the trip home. 
Mt. Coolum and Mudjimba Island in the 
background - overcast sky.

Phyllodesmium magnum

Aegires flores

Hypselodoris sagamiensis

Mexichromis macropus

Phyllidia elegans - a pair

Trinchesia sp. 3 - a pair - uncommon

Gymnodoris alba

Mexichromis trilineata

Glossodoris vespa

Flabellina sp. 1 - appears to have damaged 
rhinophores and missing the oral tentacles 

Thuridilla splendens

Noumea norba

Goniobranchus collingwoodi - feeding 
(buccal) tube extended

Thorunna sp. 1 - uncommon

Thorunna sp. 1

Thorunna sp. 1

Hexabranchus sanguineus

Trinchesia sp. 1

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Species List: C Spot & Forskalli Park, Currimundi Reef, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, 17-01-2015

24 species sighted at C Spot (outer Currimudi Reef) and Forskalli Park (inner Currimundi Reef), Sunshine Coast.

Julie, Terry and David on this excursion consisting of 1 x 72 minute dive at C Spot in depths 18m to 21m and 1 x 107 minute dive at Forskalli Park in depths 9m to 10.5m. Water temperature varied from 24C at C Spot to a tepid 27C at Forskalli Park whist surprisingly the visibility of 3m in the deeper water improved to 5m in the shallower region. This must be related to the silt load carried by the current experienced out wider. Only a slight surge was evident.

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

Cratena simba -/1
Dermatobranchus cf. primus -/1
Dermatobranchus ornatus 2/-
Dermatobranchus rodmani 1/3
Doriprismatica atromarginata -/4
Flabellina bicolor 1/3
Glossodoris vespa 1/-
Goniobranchus cf. reticulatus 2/-
Goniobranchus decorus -/2
* Goniobranchus splendidus -/6
Hypselodoris jacksoni -/3
Hypselodoris obscura -/1
Hypselodoris sp. 2 -/1
Jorunna sp. 3 1/-
Marionia cyanobranchiata 1/-
Mexichromis festiva -/2
Noumea alboannulata 1/-
Noumea laboutei 1/-
Phyllidia ocellata 1/-
Phyllidiella lizae -/2
Phyllidiella pustulosa -/1
Sagaminopteron ornatum -/1
Stiliger aureomarginatus -/2
Tritoniopsis alba 1/-

Surface conditions

Marionia cyanobranchiata

Tritoniopsis alba

Glossodoris vespa

Hypselodoris sp. 2

Hypselodoris jacksoni


Dermatobranchus rodmani

Dermatobranchus ornatus - mating pair

Noumea alboannulata

Goniobranchus cf. reticulatus

Jorunna sp. 3

Doriprismatica atromarginata

Stiliger aureomarginatus - mating pair

Goniobranchus decorus

Cratena simba

Flabellina bicolor

Noumea laboutei

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Species List: Nudi Ledge, Currimundi Reef, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, 16-01-2015

17 species sighted at Nudi Ledge, Currimundi Reef, Sunshine Coast.

Terry and David on this excursion consisting of 1 x 78 minute and 1 x 84 minute dives in water depths from 14m to 17.5mm. The water temperature was 24C on the bottom after dropping from 27C at the 12m mark. Visibility was poor at less than 2m and a slight surge was evident. Apologies for the dearth of good images.

With nearly all of our dives being shore dives right back prior to our Tulamben trip in Oct/Nov we thought we had better reacquaint ourselves with diving from a boat once again. The weather and bar conditions were perfect with the visibility being the only negative factor. Nevertheless we persevered with the use of a dive reel line concentrating mainly  on looking for smaller species at the expense of covering the usual amount of territory. Mention should be made of the Pleurolidia juliae. The veracity of this species and Protaeolidiella atra has been in a state of flux for some time now. A new paper just published this month (Jan 2015): Protaeolidiella atra Baba, 1955 versus Pleurolidia juliae Burn, 1966: One or two species?, Carmona, Pola, Gosliner, Cervera, puts to rest all the longstanding confusion in finding that these are two separate and valid species.

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

Aegires flores -/1
Bornella anguilla 2/1
Chelidonura inornata -/1
Chromodoris kuiteri -/1
* Doriprismatica atromarginata 13/21
Elysia maoria -/1
Flabellina rubrolineata 1/-
Glossodoris vespa  1/1
Goniobranchus splendidus 2/-
Hypselodoris jacksoni -/2
Phyllidia ocellata 2/1
Phyllidia picta 1/1
Phyllidiella lizae 1/2
Phyllidiella pustulosa 2/7
Pleurolidia juliae 1/1
Pteraeolidia ianthina 2/-
Sagaminopteron ornatum 2/2

Pteraeolidia ianthina

Glossodoris vespa

Phyllidia ocellata

Bornella anguilla

Pleurolidia juliae

Chelidonura inornata

Elysia maoria

Aegires flores