Friday, December 16, 2005

Friday Nudibranch Blogging


This is Glossodoris cincta, whose "color is so intense that human spirits are not strong enough to bear it, though it does not prevent them from falling into mystic love with it."

10 comments:

dan mcenroe said...

i don't know why, but i'm strangely aroused by that nudibranch.

Anonymous said...

i've been jonesing for nudibranch blogging. never stop. please. this is one of my favorite things. makes this vale of tears bearable....
(the babysitter nyc)

Xan said...

Yeah, what anon said at 2:10.

BTW for those of us who came in late to the nudying, you should fill us in one of these weeks on just what these suckers ARE. Oceangoing shell-less snails? Some totally unrelated species? Are these pix taken in the normal light spectrum or is some UV thrown in to enhance the colors? How big are these things, anyway? If they're as big as they look onscreen, why are they not rapidly becoming endangered as other tropical fishes are, for the home aquarium trade? Etc. Inquiring nudi minds want to know. :)

Phila said...

Xan,

They're a form of sea slug. Most nudibranchs are tiny...a half-inch to a couple of inches, but some can be six inches or more.

As far as aquariums, they're finicky eaters, and the things they eat tend not to grow in aquaria, so there's not much of a market, thank heavens.

isabelita said...

So lovely, like a psychedelic omelette!

GrrlScientist said...

here i am, phila! sorry, i am late to the nudi party, but i finally made it! and of course, you have provided us with another lovely creature to behold.

GrrlScientist

whisker said...

I've seldom seen them diving, but this is beautiful.

Phila said...

sorry, i am late to the nudi party, but i finally made it!

Better late than never, Hedwig! I saved you some cake, and a special spot under the mistletoe.

Cervantes said...

Any idea why the colors? What's the adaptive advantage? Intra-species recognition? Confusing predators? Inspiring people to post their pictures?

Phila said...

Cervantes,

Brightly colored nudibranchs tend to be poisonous, so they'd be examples of aposematism: coloration that serves as a warning to would-be predators.

It does seem that the evolutionary path would be a bit more...um...meandering than one that didn't involve rare and conspicuous individuals being eaten or injured. It's an interesting subject and there's a lot of research on it, 95% of which I'm not qualified to assess. We need to get Hedwig back over here...