Pic of the Day – Magnificent Ceratosoma Nudibranch & Ladybug Amphipods


Magnificent Ceratosoma Nudibranch – Ceratosoma magnificum

Today’s pic is a Magnificent Ceratosoma nudibranch, photographed in South Komodo – near the epic Horseshoe Bay at Rinca island. It was about 2.5 inches in length.

There was quite a bit of excitement when this nudi was first spotted – apparently it is not often seen. This one was down around 70 feet, and with many of us wanting to capture an image/video of it, I hurried my first attempt so I wouldn’t be hogging the subject, and then I moved up into shallower water as we were nearing the end of the dive. Doing a quick review of my images, I felt I hadn’t really got what I was hoping for, so I waited out the rest of the gang, who I could see below me, as they took their shots. Once everyone had their turn and had left the area, I dropped back down and took another quick try (getting low on gas and bottom time), and this is the best I got.

Interestingly, the next day, the guides found three of these nudiibranchs, all clustered together (nudi orgy?), at Cannibal Rock, in Horseshoe Bay. The one pictured above was taken on a wall dive, outside the bay.

I will admit that I did not see the tiny Ladybug Amphipod (Cyproideidae) hitchhiking on the nudi (top right) until I downloaded the shot and saw it on a larger screen.

These little ladybugs of the sea are fascinating creatures – very, very tiny – less than 1/4 inch long. To the naked eye, they resemble fleas – and like fleas, they jump around so they are very difficult to shoot. Once the guides pointed a few out, I started seeing them everywhere (through my macro viewfinder and lens – I was really not able to see them at all without this magnification). I have only ever “seen” them in South Komodo, and interestingly, they have apparently only been documented in this area.

Here is a closer view of the ladybugs – again, the best I managed. I only saw them on this one dive – which was a wall dive with a bit of current, so that made it tricky to get a pleasing shot. This image was taken with a +10 wet diopter layered over my 105mm macro lens.


Ladybug Amphipod – Cyproideidae

One of these days I will get around to writing up the final chapters of the Komodo Chronicles, which will include these great dives we did at Rinca/Horseshoe Bay.

About Judy G Diver

Born and raised on the west coast of Canada, I have always felt a strong connection to the sea. But for many years, I stayed on the surface, afraid of what lurked down deep. When I was in my early 30's, with three young children (aka the P's), my husband (aka Mr G) signed us up for a SCUBA certification course, as a surprise. Although I had my fears, my stubbornness prevailed, and somehow I made it through four murky, frigid, cold water dives in Vancouver to successfully pass the course. Soon after we went diving off the west coast of Mexico, in the Sea of Cortez, where my eyes were opened to the beauty and other-worldliness of the life down under. And the rest, as they say, is history. I currently have well over 2000 dives under the belt, and I have been fortunate to travel and dive in Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Fiji, Palau, Philippines, Galapagos, Costa Rica, Hawaii, California, Egypt, Mexico, several islands in the Caribbean, and here in British Columbia. In addition to this blog and my personal website (Awoosh.com/Directory), which is linked at the top of the blog, my stuff has been published in a variety of magazines and websites, including a regular monthly feature for Scubadiving Magazine for several years. All links to this work can be found in this blog.
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