Friday, May 16, 2008

Nudibranchs are beautiful

Don't believe me? Check out this wonderful feature on the National Geographic website.

The photo gallery by world-renowned underwater photographer David Doubilet is simply stunning:


The accompanying video is a must-see too.

Look who's featured in the gallery:

Jorunna funebris

This species is actually quite commonly seen on Singapore's shores!

Jorunna funebris on Sentosa (Photo by Ria)

There's an amazing variety of shapes and colours among the nudibranchs that can be found in Singapore. Here's some pictures taken by several friends:

Armina semperi (Photo by Marcus)

Melibe sp. (Photo by Ria)

Glossodoris atromarginata (Photo by Ron)

Phyllidia ocellata (Photo by Jun)

Cuthona sibogae (Photo by Chay Hoon)

Ceratosoma sinuata (Photo by Ria)

Flabellina rubrolineata (Photo by Jun)

Discodoris boholiensis (Photo by Ron)

Chromodoris lineolata (Photo by Marcus)

Gymnodoris rubropapulosa (Photo by Chay Hoon)

Phyllidiella pustulosa (Photo by Ron)

Pteraeolidia ianthina (Photo by Ria)

What I have shown here is just a tiny fraction of the great diversity of nudibranch species which can be found in Singapore's waters. Nudibranchs are so colourful, but they are often quite well-camouflaged, or tiny and really easy to miss if you're not looking hard enough.

Coming up, just what exactly are nudibranchs? What do they eat? And why are they so colourful?

This is part 1 of a 5-part series on nudibranchs, inspired by a feature article on nudibranchs on the National Geographic website.

Part 1: Nudibranchs are beautiful (this post)
Part 2: What is a nudibranch?
Part 3: Are nudibranchs suitable for aquariums?
Part 4: Nudibranchs for the aquarium
Part 5: Nudibranchs: Stowaways and Hitchhikers