We are very lucky to get many beautiful and interesting Nudibranchs here in Lembeh. Now as you may know, there are plenty of different species of sea slugs, they can be a bit difficult to keep track of! In this blog post we will be looking closer at the Phyllodesmium Nudibranchs!
The genus Phyllodesmium Nudibranchs belong in the family of Facelinidae, and there are over 20 different Phyllodesmium species. Remember, when talking about biological classification, the last three tiers are “Family”, “Genus” and “Species” in that order.
These Nudibranchs are quite known for their mimicry, as a lot of the species do an excellent job of mimicking soft coral to avoid predators. In this photo below you can see the Phyllodesmium rudmani, and how very alike it looks to Xenia coral! Xenia coral is found commonly in shallow areas. The rudmani nudibranch can sometimes be very difficult to spot because if it is not moving, it looks like an independent colony of Xenia coral. The rudmani feeds only on this specific type of coral.
There is one more thing that is very famous about the Phyllodesmium nudibranchs, and that is their ability to photosynthesize! Yes, it does sound crazy, but they way they do it is very interesting. The Phyllodesmium longicirrum is one of the most well known species for doing this, they’ve even been nicknamed as the “Solar-powered Nudi”! Several of the species shown in this post possess the same technique.
This specific species prefers to feed on Sarcophyton coral, or sometimes called “leather” coral. It has developed a symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic single-celled plants, Zooxanthellae. These small organisms live in the cerata of the nudibranch, which is the elongated tentacle like structures coming off the body. This is why the Phyllodesmium longicirrum has developed ceratas with a very large surface area. The Zooxanthellae photosynthesize inside the cerata, converting sunlight into energy that the nudibranch benefits from!
Some people palm off nudibranchs as boring, but there are some species that are more than just “underwater slugs”! Phyllodesmiums are both beautiful and interesting, and if you ask your guide next time you visit us, they can show you plenty!
Why Dive with NAD-Lembeh Resort?
NAD-Lembeh Resort is a small, owner-operated, photography-oriented dive resort in the Lembeh Strait. We are situated in a private bay on Lembeh Island, away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. We guarantee a 2:1 guest to guide ratio as standard, which makes for a private dive experience and lots of time to take pictures.
ROOMS & BUNGALOWS
All our rooms (10 Beachfront Rooms, 5 Seaview Bungalows) offer ocean view, air conditioning, hot water, wifi, including full board. Our resort has only few steps, which makes our layout extremely convenient to get from your room to the restaurant, camera room, bar and floating jetty.
Our dive team consists of 15 full-time guides, with over 100 years of combined experience! Air as well as Nitrox and various cylinder sizes (both DIN and Yoke are available onsite).
BOATS & FLOATING JETTY
NAD-Lembeh has 4 large, purpose-built dive boats. Each at around 15m long, they offer lots of space and comfort for the divers. Boats feature onboard toilets, towels, drinks and snacks and first aid/ oxygen.
Our jetty allows our guests dignified and quick boat entries – all our dive boats can be moored simultaneously, so there is no wading through the shallows to get on the boat for the dive!
Our focus at NAD is to take your underwater photography to the next level. We offer 1:1 photo classes and our guides are all proficient with photography, using our rental equipment for fun dives when not diving with guests.
We shoot video up to 8K, along with Nikon/ Canon SLR and mirrorless setups. This gives us a rounded knowledge of all cameras. We are also the go-to location for natural history filming in the Straits.
Our newly renovated, huge camera room offers one work space for each and every guest. The spacious, individual benches with lots of power points were purposely built for underwater photographers. NAD’s dedicated camera room is also the perfect place to work on and edit your pictures.
Several rental cameras and strobes are available onsite. We have basic tools and spare parts in our gift shop in case of minor camera problems as well as a drying cabinet, and computer for you to work on and edit your photos.