Undescribed Glossodoris, found on the underside of the St. Anthony. To my knowledge, I was the first person to see and photograph this unnamed species in Maui, although it had been seen in Oahu waters.
A lovely juvenile Trembling nudibranch (Chromodoris vibrata)
I don't have a common name on this one, but I finally found out the species: it's Cyerce elegans. Much thanks to Pauline Fiene and Cory Pittman and their excellent Opisthobranch website-- http://www.seaslugsofhawaii.com/
This is a Red spotted nudibranch (Chromodoris sp1-undescribed). Right after I took this photo, I was witness to what I can only call an extremely low-speed collision....(see next 4 photos in gallery)
So here's our beautiful Chromodoris, minding its own business...and entering from right on a slow closing vector, we can see a Pebble collector urchin (Pseudoboletia indiana)...(see next photo)
...with a dramatic mutual relative speed of well over one cm per second, disaster seems immanent...
...and the collision! Someone call 911! Neither animal was particularly happy at this point...obviously the Red spotted nudibranch did not like getting spiked, and the Pebble collector urchin had no interest in letting a toxic Chromodoris anywhere near its underside...they violently (relatively speaking) swerved apart a few seconds later.
The displeased Red spotted nudibranch (macro detail)
Sometimes mother nature gets a little creative--this is a Kangaroo nudibranch (Ceratosoma tenue). It's very unusual to see one of these crawling out in the open sand like this, they usually hide in the reef.
A tiny, tiny White-margin nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata)
A Trembling nudibranch (Chromodoris vibrata)...a little darker brown than is usual for C.vibrata, their normal coloration is more bright yellow--see other C. vibrata pics in this gallery.
A gorgeous Kangaroo nudibranch (Ceratosoma tenue)...I used to consider these beauties rare, but lately it seems I've been finding one on almost every dive!
The rare and beautiful Snow goddess nudibranch (Glossodoris poliahu)
A pair of Imperial nudibranchs (Risbecia imperialis)
This is a creature I've only seen twice and only photographed once...a Tiled pleurobranch (Pleurobranchus grandis). Pleurobranchidae (also called side-gill slugs) are related to nudibranchs, but are quite a bit larger--this one was about the size of a dinner plate...
A White-margin nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata)
I was pushing the limits of what my camera could do on this shot---but thanks to Cory Pittman I do know what this is: family Tethyidae, species is Melibe megaceras...and according to Cory this is the first photo of one taken on Maui. See this link for more information.
I was quite excited to see this enormous (I'd estimate close to 10 cm!) nudibranch...this is the first time I've ever seen a Speckled platydoris (Platydoris formosa). Thanks to Pauline Fiene and Cory Pittman for their excellent Opisthobranchia ID site: www.seaslugsofhawaii.com
A look at the gill clusters of the beautiful Red-margin spanish dancer (Hexabranchus pulchellus)
H. pulchellus, mantle retracted.
...and here you can see a H. pulchellus defensive reaction--notice the gills being retracted ito the body at upper left.
An extremely large Varicose phyllidia (Phyllidia varicosa), also called a "Scrambled egg nudibranch". Unlike most nudibranchs which have an obvious "gill tuft" (see the Gold lace nudibranch in this gallery), phyllidiids carry their gills in a fringe under the skirt of the mantle.
An underwater rose....the egg mass of a Redmargin spanish dancer (Hexabranchus pulchellus)
This is a Gold lace nudibranch (Haigerda terramtuentis), one of the prettiest dorids you'll ever see. This amazing translucent nudibranch is only found in Hawaiian waters.
Another look at H. terramtuentis...you can see in this photo that the gill tuft can be retracted for safety.
Another Gold lace nudibranch (Haigerda terramtuentis), this one is feeling a little more bold--notice the gill tuft is fully extended. However, the rhinophores at the front are tucked in a bit...just being cautious, I guess.
Blue dragon nudibranch (Pteraeolidia ianthina), macro head-on view...
A fantastic (and very large!) Red-margin spanish dancer (Hexabranchus pulchellus)...the Hawaiian swimming crab (Charybdis hawaiensis) in the foreground--apparently ready for his closeup--will give you some scale.
A closer look at the Red-margin spanish dancer (Hexabranchus pulchellus)...
A pretty Red-spotted nudibranch (Chromodoris sp1-undescribed).
A handsome White-margin nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata)
Gold Lace Nudibranch