Sea Slugs : Have You Seen One?

 Sea Slugs! What are they?

  They are a very interesting creature found crawling at the bottom of the sea, sometimes perched up on a rock or hanging by a sponge. If you have been on a recent dive and your guide pointed at one of them, what’s the first thing that came to your mind? With their tiny size, stunningly colorful pattern and fascinating structures, this cute fellas are called Nudibranch or Sea Slugs ( soft-bodied, and their overall shape is slug-like ).  They are wide-spread here and we get a fair share of their variety in the Philippines.  A common subject for underwater photographers who specializes in macro photography.

Most creatures known as sea slugs are actually snails that over time due to evolution lost their shells.  The word sea slug is most commonly applied to nudibranchs and other marine gastropods without any obvious shells.

 

Below are some of the most common sea slugs I often spot on our reef sites in Boracay!

 

 Nembrotha kubaryana eating a Stalked Green Ascidian

 Some species ingest toxic chemicals from the sponges they eat and store away the single most noxious compound to use against their predators later on. So they are definitely not in the menu and taste yucky to predators, and even toxic when ingested.

Like a flowing skirt from the summer breeze

Ardeadoris Egretta
A sea slug with white body, gills and rhinophores which has a yellowish-orange marginal band on the mantle.

 

 

Funeral Jorunna (Jorunna funebris) | 6 cm at 12m
With a voracious appetite for sponges.

A sea slug that looks like a rice cake, fluffy marshmallow, a polka dot mochi or a cute cow 😀

 

A Ribbon Egg that is made of tiny Nudibranch embryos suspended in a jelly-like substance in a spiral, that curls loosely that looks like a pasta noodle and sometimes like a rose.

The jelly itself provides all the care it needs eliminating parental care.

 

 

They find their way across the ocean using little stalks with thin layers of folded tissue called rhinophores, which are chemically sensitive.  Using these, they can sense the chemicals given off by their favorite food and takes on an adventure towards it.

 

 

These creatures are Hermaprodites. Each one of them are simultaneously a male and female. While mating they fertilize each other, but cannot fertilize themselves. What a vast world and the guys above  found each other for a ménage à trois.

 

The “nudi” in nudibranch means naked, and the “branch” means gills. Their scientific name translates literally as “naked-gills”, because their  ‘respiratory organ’ are exposed.

Willan’s Chromodoris (Chromodoris Willani), also called Toothpaste Nudibranch.
The most distinguishing external feature of this sea slug are the white spots or specks on both the gills and the rhinophores. It almost looks as if they are encrusted in thousands of sparkling diamonds

 

We don’t have to dive deep to find fascinating creatures. Some of them are just around the corner of the reef happily munching on a sponge!

 

     Happy bubbles~

Que Zhantal

PADI Instructor

Underwater Photography : Ribbon eel

 


 Ribbon eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita), also known as the Leaf-nosed moray eel or Bernis eel

The ribbon eel grows to an overall length of approximately 1 m (3.3 ft), and has a life span of up to twenty years.

Angol reef | 14 meters

Photo by : Que Zhantal ( PADI Instructor )

Underwater Photography : Anemone Porcelain Crab

Anemone Porcelain Crab

Underwater photography subject is an Anemone Porcelain Crab.

Spotted on a night dive living on a giant anemone where they can hide among the tentacles and mainly feeds by filtering the water. With a hard exoskeleton, this crab looked like it has an armor.

Beach night dive |  4 – 6 meters | Olympus TG – 2 with external torch

Photo by : Que Zhantal ( PADI Instructor )

Today’s Discover Scuba Diving Participants

      Today’s Discover Scuba Diving students, Maeve Cannon and Florin Popa at Angol point reef site!

                                                 Due to the recent typhoon that passed by the western Visayas area, the weather had been gloomy and short rain shower through out the day. But during our training dive, the sun peaks out among the clouds giving us more natural light underwater. Visibility is down to around 8 m but was still pleasant to swim around. After a 40 min dive, we ascended back to the boat thus the end of our underwater adventure.

 

Discover Scuba Diving Program

Today’s entry will feature our amazing divers who went for the

PADI Discover Scuba Diving Program.

The holidays are here and some have gone to Asia to have a piece of summer this winter season.

                       The contrast of wearing a thick jacket, gloves and shoes on a winter wonderland eating turkey at thanksgiving to wearing bikini and shorts, barefoot on a sunny beach paradise sipping cocktails or a local beer.

In  the morning, a group of young professionals from Vancouver, Canada who are all in the Philippines to attend an International Ultimate Frisbee competition in Manila.

Jeff, who was a certified PADI Advanced Open Water diver shares their story at how they all end up travelling together to play and have a side trip to Taiwan and of course to Boracay Island.

Jeff LaForge | PADI Advanced Open Water

 

The whole gang all suited up ready for the confined water training dive.

The Squad!

 

 Assisted by PADI Divemaster Jerry and Core both from Korea and our PADI Chinese Instructor Sean.

 

 

 

Read more

Wall dive with PADI certified divers

Aloha!

Welcome to my new entry for Sea World Boracay gallery.

Here are the divers who went for a fun diving trip to one of our wall dives, Diniwid.

It has a max depth of 18m – 22m with a nice wall drop. Also a perfect site for a good drift.

The site offers variety of marine life such as Green sea turtles, Hawksbill turtle, Stingray, Moray eel, Triggerfish, Mantis shrimp, Anemone fishes, Trumphet fish, Reef groupers, Snappers, Cornetfish to name a few.  I have been lucky to spot a 2 meter long white tip reef shark at 16m here before. The wall is covered with sponge corals, barrel sponges, staghorn corals, coral whips etc.

 

Ariel Han | PADI Dive Master | China

 

Kenichi Kaji | Open Water Diver | Japan


Tim Gottlieb | Open Water Diver | Japan

 

Patron | Dive Master Intern | Korea

 

We were accompanied by Patron, his English alias, a Korean national who took his PADI Divemaster with us. He is set to start his PADI Instructor Development Course next week.

 

 

That’s all for now. Will be back for more 🙂

 

 Happy days!

Hugs and bubbles,

ZHANTAL

PADI Instructor