After returning back from the BOOT Show in Germany, Lembeh feels not only very tropical and warm – it also offers suprisingly cool diving. On my first days back in the water i saw all the usual suspects like Rhinopias, different Frogfish, seahorses and Octopus and many more. But also a unusually high number of Pikacu Nudibranchs (tecacera) – one of my favourite nudibranchs. And on three out of my first 4 dives i saw several of them.
The 2 specimens in the pictures were about 2 meters away from each other when we decended down to a dive. When coming back up the two had already approached each other to a distance of about 30-40 cm. So i decided to wait and enjoy my voyeuristic side 😉 The bigger of the two slowly sneaked up on the smaller one, trying to take over the right side of the smaller one. The smaller one turned away. Bummer! Then the bigger one made a quick turn (quick for a nudibranch) and took over the left side and made head contact with the smaller one. This nudibranch foreplay was the gamechanger for the big one – the smaller one immediately relaxed (i really would like to know what the bigger one said …).
After about a minute the bigger one turned so they would be standing tail to head – there is not much Kamasutra to be seen … this is the classic and only Nudibrach mating position. They then both extend their sexual organs on the side, connect them and the party begins. Very cool to watch things like this happening – that’s the true spirit of Muck Diving. Go find something cool, wait, observe and enjoy.
The fourth picture shown another variation of this attractive nudibranch family … the Black, white and Orange Thecarera picta. It does not have the typical Picaku colours but is just as cool. There are several members of this family to be seen in Lembeh Strait that grow to about 3-5 cm and can be seen pretty much year round.