nudibranchs

A Little Burst of Sunshine: Enjoying Yellow Dorids

Writing articles for this column motivated me to sort my thousands of California marine life images into specific folders such as bryozoans, hydrocorals, crabs, fish, nudibranchs, etc. Nudibranchs are further separated into aeolid and dorid folders — including 40-plus “yellow dorids.”  In the beginning, all of my yellow dorids looked alike to me. However, as time went on, I became more adept at recognizing the subtle differences among the colorful slugs.  There are more than 170 species of nudibranchs living off the Pacific Coast and […]

Cold Water? Lucky Us!

A couple of days ago I was talking to a couple of my diving buddies at a local club meeting, and they were excitedly telling me about their upcoming trips to tropical destinations. As often seems to happen in discussions of that nature the gathering crowd began to explain to each other how easy it is to dive in warm water as opposed to what they make sound like the near-freezing water we have in California. I listened for quite a while, and then I […]

There’s No Place Like Home

Like most divers I know, I thoroughly enjoy my dive trips to tropical destinations. After all, who doesn’t enjoy great visibility, warm water, colorful reefs and all of the associated marine life?  In the coming months, various photo assignments will have me diving off the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe, Dominica and Grand Cayman. As you probably suspect, I am looking forward to all of these trips. But the dive trip that I am looking forward to the most in the coming months is an October […]

Call for Entries in 2013 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition

Underwater Photography Guide, a popular online resource for underwater photographers, is accepting entries for the 2013 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition. The competition is open to underwater photographers of all experiences levels and includes 12 categories: Cold/Temperate Water Compact Camera (three categories) Divers/Fashion Macro Marine Life Behavior  Marine Life Portraits Novice DSLR Nudibranchs  Super Macro Wide-angle Entries must be submitted online no later than November 10, 2013. Prizes valued at more than $75,000 will be awarded, including more than 35 live-aboard and resort scuba diving […]

Welcome to the Second Golden Age of Diving

I attended the 43rd San Diego Underwater Photographic Society (SDUPS) Film Festival recently. Held at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the event showcases still photographs, slide presentations and videos from SDUPS club members.  We were treated to one fantastic image after another. We saw it all from nudibranchs and squids to sharks and whales. The imagery came from destinations as distant as the Solomon Islands and as close as La Jolla Shores, a popular dive site well known for wintertime squid runs that is only […]

The Spice of the California Diving Experience

Mention California diving and the first thoughts of divers around the world are likely to be about our kelp forests. Their reaction is proof that just seeing a photograph of shimmering rays of sunlight dance through a golden undersea forest can get you hooked on California diving. And as so many California divers know, exploring a kelp forest in real life is a magical experience.   More than 800 species have been documented to inhabit a healthy forest of giant kelp. Those creatures include the […]

Nudis and Branchers

Ever see pictures of a critter that seems to have evolved from that box where all the holiday decorations are stored? Chances are you’re looking at a nudibranch.  Nudibranchs (sometimes affectionately called “nudis”) are members of the opisthobranchs, also known as sea slugs. The name nudibranch literally means “naked gill.” Their body shape ranges from oval to long and tapered. All have some form of rhinophores; think rabbit ears, on their front end. Projections of varying heights may be present on the back.  A group […]

California Marine Flatworms

A rather stunning creature grabbed my attention. It was off-white with ostentatious black, purple, and red lines that zigzagged down its back. It looked like and moved like a nudibranch, but lacked the gills and rhinophores of a nudibranch. What could it be? Turns out my mystery critter was a flatworm. Flatworms belong to the Phylum Platyhelminthes, a group that contains some very primitive, and yet very beautiful, animals. This name derives from the Greek and literally translates to “flat worm.” Platyhelminthes have been divided […]

Fried Eggs for Breakfast at La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores is a popular beach located near San Diego. Besides being a great spot for teaching scuba, it is also very popular with many local and visiting divers. Although it doesn’t have the most beautiful underwater topography, it does have a nice variety of fish and invertebrate life living in and on its sand and mud bottom. There seem to be creatures that you can almost always find at home here, like various nudibranchs and other invertebrates such as crabs or shrimp. There […]

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