Unusual to photograph Trapania rudmani on this kind of background. It might have been moving between food sources. This was taken at the Poor Knights Islands (Cream Gardens).
It's a right royal pain when a nudibranch doesn't have a scientific name. New Zealand has a good selection of undescribed Trinchesia sp. nudibranchs and without a name how is one supposed to tell one from another in conversation? So I now call this nudibranch the 'rasta' nudibranch, because it has really awesome dreadlocks.
I've had plenty of recent sightings of this small species. Active during the daytime. Consistently in the 8-14 metre range. Egg coils common.
19-Nov-2016 Barren Arch (Splendid Arch), Poor Knights Islands
Despite good sightings I do believe that this nudibranch is rarely seen. It is small and blends in remarkably well with its food source. I attribute my success at spotting this nudi to having developed an eye for recognising its habitat and a patience for sitting there until I locate it.
I call this undescribed species of Trinchesia the rasta nudi because it has a wild set of dreadlocks. It can be tiny and notoriously difficult to spot. If you manage to find one you'll never forget it! I've been spotting them in the 10-14 metre range.
I first encountered this species at the Poor Knights Islands on 18 July 2011. I discovered it quite by accident. I was zooming in on a photo I'd taken of a crested blenny and noticed a couple of teensy nudibranch-looking blobs next to the fish - they were blurry. The next day I went hunting in earnest and discovered Landing Bay Pinnacle absolutely covered in these tiny molluscs. They were all over the place, but at about 2mm long, a bit difficult to capture in a photo with my Canon G9 camera.
Years on, these sea slugs have popped up on my radar again. I spotted them in Manta Bay and on Magic Wall at the Poor Knights Islands on 24-25 September 2016. This specimen is from Danger Rock outside of the Bay of Islands (9 October 2016). It was in a depth of about 14-16 metres.
Runcina katipoides is a sea slug but not a nudibranch. It is truly tiny; the slugs I've seen have been about 2-3mm long. It is probably more common than you might believe but its diminutive size makes it difficult to spot unless you're really trying to find micro molluscs.
This photo was taken with my Canon 5D Mark II using a 100mm macro lens. The photograph has been heavily cropped so that you can see the sea slug.
Photographic confessions of a nudiholic!