Sunday, September 23, 2018

Species List: 20-09-2018, La Balsa Park, Mooloolah River, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, Qld.

29 species sighted at La Balsa Park, Mooloolah River, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, Qld, 20-09-2018.

A single shore entry evening dive by Julie, Terry and David of 124 minutes. Maximum depth 6.7 m, 21 C water temperature and 5 m viz.

In the river we dive at the change of the tide, during the transition from flood to ebb and on some occasions that happens to coincide with nightfall. The river at night is a different place to the river in daylight. As the orange orb of the sun sinks below the western horizon, the available light underwater gradually fades and we are eventually left only with that modest cone of light produced by our torch and then only in the direction in which it is pointed. At this time some creatures disappear while others come out from their hiding places to feed. This is another cycle, the cycle of night and day produced by the sun superimposed upon the tidal cycle of ebb and flow generated by the moon, a lunar-solar rhythmic pattern. It is these changes, this mix of cycles, that draws us here in the hope of chancing upon something different, something out of the ordinary, something novel to add to our catalogue of finds. Searching in that restricted cone of light creates a degree of clarity and focus not present during the daylight when many distractions impose upon our focus.

And so the treasures were found, some infrequently sighted, such as Gymnodoris sp. 17, Lomanotus vermiformis, Marionia pustulosa, Rostanga crawfordi and Diversidoris sp. 1 and, others novel, like Pruvotfolia sp. 1 and Facelina sp. 12, all rewarding in their own right. At the end of the dive there is a conflict of choice between pushing the envelope to stay just a bit longer to find yet more and surfacing to discuss and identify the exciting finds with your companions. Working with great people makes you feel great and that too, in itself, is a wonderful reward.

Species and number thereof sighted
* Species with highest specimen count

Bulbaeolidia alba -1
Chromodoris striatella -1
Cratena lineata -2
Diversidoris sp. 1 -1
Elysia sp. 11 -1
Facellina sp. 8 -3
Facelina sp. 12 -1 (New species)
Flabellina rubrolineata -5
Godiva quadricolor -1
* Goniobranchus daphne -11
Goniodoridella savignyi -2
Goniodoridella sp. 1 -4+
Gymnodoris sp. 9 -1
Gymnodoris sp. 10 -3
Gymnodoris sp. 17 -1
Hypselodoris obscura -4
Lomanotus vermiformis -2
Marionia pustulosa -1
Pleurobranchus peronii -2
Pruvotfolia sp. 1 -1 (New species)
Pteraeolidia semperi -7
Rostanga crawfordi -1
Sakuraeolis nungunoides -8
Tenellia sibogae -2
Tenellia sp. 44 -4
Trapania brunnea -1
Unidentia sp. 1 -1
Unidentia sp. 2 -2
Unidentia sp. 5 -4

Easy in - easy out

Cratena lineata

Lomanotus vermiformis

Hypselodoris obscura

Tenellia sibogae

Pleurobranchus peronii

Sakuraeolis nungunoides

Bulbaeolidia alba 

Lomanotus vermiformis - head detail

Goniodoridella sp. 1

Be afraid - be very afraid

Facellina sp. 8

Goniobranchus daphne

Gymnodoris sp. 17

Elysia sp. 11

Sakuraeolis nungunoides - This specimen has 
been relieved of its whole body behind 
the first row of cerata

Gymnodoris sp. 10

Facelina sp. 12 - A new species

Marionia pustulosa

Rostanga crawfordi

Trapania brunnea

Diversidoris sp. 1

Tenellia sp. 44

Pruvotfolia sp. 1 - A new species

Godiva quadricolor