Saturday, May 5, 2018

Species List: 04-05-2018, Shellacey Reef, Gneering Shoals, off Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, Qld.

26 species sighted at Shellacey Reef, Gneering Shoals, off Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, Qld, 04-05-2018.

Julie, Gary and David on this excursion consisting of 1 x 78 minute and 1 x 69 minute dives in water depths from 14 m to 18 m. 20 m viz (measured), 24 C water temp and some intermittent surge.

We were blessed with perfect surface conditions on our trip out and excellent sub-surface conditions on immersion - in fact, the sea surface “glassed out” mid-morning (well - undulating glass anyway), and the sea bed was visible from aboard the boat. That 20 m viz was most enjoyable. There did not seem to be significant numbers of any species except Chromodoris elisabethina and Aegires citrinus. Those species worth a special mention due to their not-so-common status are: Verconia verconiforma, Diversidoris crocea and Mexichromis pusilla. During the surface interval we were entertained by a school of Batfish that were doing their best shark impersonation by coming right up and swimming with their dorsal fins breaking the surface.

We sighted a small and a large Phyllidia varicosa. The larger specimen is without doubt that species however it has been suggested to us that the smaller one may be Phyllidia haegeli. The two are almost identical from a dorsal aspect with the major external characteristic that differentiates the two being that Phyllidia varicosa has a dorsal anus while Phyllidia haegeli has a ventral anus meaning it is not visible on the dorsum. The aspect at which all our photos have been taken do not allow for a definite conclusion to be drawn. Whilst we can say that a dorsal anus does not seem to be apparent we cannot say one is definitely not there.

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

Aegires citrinus -/5
Ardeadoris sp.2 1/-
Berthella martensi 1/-
Cadlinella ornatissima 1/-
* Chromodoris elisabethina 6/6
Chromodoris kuiteri 1/-
Dermatobranchus rodmani 1/-
Diversidoris crocea 1/-
Doriprismatica atromarginata 2/1
Facelina sp. 3 -/1
Flabellina bicolor -/1
Goniobranchus collingwoodi 2/-
Goniobranchus geometricus -/1
Goniobranchus sp. 7 1/-
Goniodoridella savignyi -/1
Mexichromis pusilla 1/-
Mexichromis trilineata -/1
Phyllidia varicosa -/2
Phyllidiella lizae 3/2
Phyllidiella pustulosa 3/2
Sagaminopteron ornatum -/1
Tenellia sp. 33 1/-
Thuridilla carlsoni 1/1
Thuridilla splendens -/1
Verconia simplex 1/1
Verconia verconiforma -/1

Gettin' shipshape

Goniobranchus collingwoodi

Diversidoris crocea 

Doriprismatica atromarginata

Phyllidiella lizae

Phyllidiella pustulosa - with its egg mass?

Chromodoris elisabethina

Cadlinella ornatissima

Verconia verconiforma

Flabellina bicolor

Goniodoridella savignyi

Facelina sp. 3

Phyllidia varicosa (or is it Phyllidia haegeli?)

Phyllidia varicosa

Lots of coral growth and associated fish life

Wonderful 20 metre visibility

Sometimes the visibility dropped dramatically. 
Where's David?

Then just as quickly cleared. 
There's David

Mexichromis pusilla

Sagaminopteron ornatum

Aegires citrinus

Thuridilla splendens

Surface conditions - Undulating glass

Verconia simplex

Berthella martensi

Dermatobranchus rodmani

Goniobranchus sp. 7

Thuridilla carlsoni