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LyleORoss

Nudibranches in Bonaire

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I have recently taken an interest in nudibranches and am taking a trip to Bonaire over Thanksgiving (late November for non US citizens). Does anyone have any suggestions of where to look there? Sites, etc. I've read some about the environments where they locate in the Caribbean, but was wondering if anyone had any direct experience from Bonaire?

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I found lots on Bari Reef back in March/April. Mainly Willanis.

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I'm there for 1-2 weeks every year.....and I've never seen any nudibranchs other than the common (and not really a nudibranch) lettuce sea slug.

 

People tell me they have found them. Ellen Muller sees them from time to time: see for example https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=ellen+muller+bonaire+nudibranch.

 

Maybe this October I'll get lucky....

 

I'll be looking in rubble, like at Bari Reef or Salt Pier or Something Special or the upper slopes of Jeff Davis or Barkadera.

Edited by tursiops

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BTW, thanks for the links to Ellen's work, amazing stuff! For the life of me, probably cause I'm old and slow, I can't find the gear list wydeangle mentions. Regardless, her stuff is inspiring.

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Ellen is a very dedicated underwater naturalist and skilled photographer! I've contacted her several times over the years for confirmation of sightings I have enjoyed.

 

I haven't been to Bonaire in years, but spend considerable time in Grand Cayman seeking out macro life, including nudibranchs with decent success. It's not the location or site you want to focus on, but the habitat and their food source.

That being said, I look for them on sponges, hydroids, algae, rubble and debris in depths of 15 to 65 ft, also time of day matters. Where during the day, I might focus my search in algae, dead fans, debris and rubble, diving at night, sponges and hydroids can yield significant finds.

Move slow, don't be rushed and get out the magnifying glass! Most of what you find, is significantly smaller than those in Indonesia, with the Elysia Crispata( Lettuce leaf sea slug) being one of the largest, down to those in the Doto family being grain of rice size.

 

I helped friends some years ago self publish a Nudibranch identification book for Grand Cayman. Although not Bonaire, believe it gives one a good idea of what the Caribbean has to offer .We've tried to include habitat and time of day when possible. The book is still available on Amazon, Cayman Nudibranchs, if you care to check it out. I might add that we need to do some updating, as since then, the three of us have added nearly 20 different ones to the discoveries.

 

Best of luck and please report back!

 

Cindy

 

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I found lots on Bari Reef back in March/April. Mainly Willanis.

Hmmmm, my partner suspects Ive lost the plot. What nudis, she said.... Sorry, maybe Im getting confused with another dive trip. Age, Nitrox and any other excuse I can think of. In my minds eye I saw them. Honest.

 

🤪

🙄

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The whole grain of rice thing may defeat me. But I will do my best. I had trouble finding 1 inchers in Palau. It was a whole new world of looking. At least in Bonaire I can shore dive and go at my own pace. Thanks!

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I go every year. Lettuce leaf slugs are common. You can find others on the sponges at night. That being said, in July I found two purple crowned sea goddesses on our last dive at Something Special. You never know!

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Well i made the trip, there were indeed lots of lettuce sea slugs, but I didn't see a single nudi. Sigh. But there were some interesting things. I tried to create a posting under the photo pages but don't seem to be able to link my pictures in directly. I'm hosting on smugmug. Clearly, I'm doing something wrong. I created a link to the album on smugmug, but wanted to just link a few pics, A good bit of what is there isn't that great.

 

I did snag a shot of a Peterson's Shrimp carrying larva though.

Edited by LyleORoss

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