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Nudibranch is a type of shell-less mollusk (octopus is a mollusk too!) that dots the ocean, typically hanging at the rock wall, coral, or bottom of the sea. Also known as sea slugs, these creatures are pretty tiny, typically not larger than your pinky.

Nudis come in a huge variety of shapes and colors, but they usually have a recognizable head with a pair of antennas, and an naked gill like organ at the rear that looks almost like a flower. The colors act as a deterrence and/or camouflage, some nudis can somehow “move” venoms from their prey to the outer part of their body to make themselves toxic to their potential predators. Fascinating stuff.

Tenggol island was partly made famous by the abundance of nudibranchs, and in my last trip (31st April to 2nd May) and over 8 dives, I’ve spotted at least 11 different types of nudis at dive sites around the main and surrounding islands.

The photos below are taken with my Canon S90, either with the miserable built in flash that’s half blocked by the underwater housing, or with natural light. Color temperatures are corrected, as with a bit of contrast adjustments.

I am dreaming a set of underwater strobes, but those toys are pricey….

Phyllidia varicosa (scrambled egg nudibrach)
Phyllidia varicosa

Also referred to as the scrambled egg nudi, this one’s pretty big in size, almost 3-4 inches in length. I don’t know who came up with the name, but if you serve my scrambled egg in this color, I’m probably gonna reject it.

Flabellina exoptata
Flabellina exoptata

From the puplish base, white tips and the blue rings, this looks like a flabellina exoptata but I could be wrong.

a black nembrotha something?
black nembrotha something?

It took me better part of an hour to find out the name for this nudi, no luck. Anyone know?

Atagema intecta
Atagema intecta

Again, atagema intecta might not be the correct species name for this black nudi with tiny brown spots all over. With 3000 or so species of nudibranchs it’s quite a drag to find the correct name sometimes.

Chromodoris coi
Chromodoris coi

The white and grey nudi with black outline’s just lovely.

Phyllidia coelestis
Phyllidia coelestis

The first time I spotted this lovely blue and black nudi with yellow spikes and tentacles.

Chromodoris magnifica
Chromodoris magnifica

This one’s also called the stripped pajama nudi, not hard to see why. But does anyone seriously still have pajamas of this yellow, white, and black color scheme?

1. Phyllidia pustulosa 2. Nembrotha kubaryana 3. Pteraeolidia ianthina 4. Hypselodoris bullocki
1. Phyllidia pustulosa 2. Nembrotha kubaryana
3. Pteraeolidia ianthina 4. Hypselodoris bullocki

These few are the more common ones around Tenggol, with Pteraeolidia especially plentiful. In the last dive I could spot at least a dozen of them within 10 meters inΒ diameter.

Discuss : Nudibranchs of Pulau Tenggol

  1. myhorng

    those creatures are just weird.

  2. it’s like visiting another planet^^ they look so colourful, cute and squishy! lols…

  3. isit edible? LOL

  4. myhorng,
    hahaha they are!

    Glo-w,
    truth is stranger than fiction πŸ˜›

    chiaw,
    even if they are they’d be too small!

  5. awesome!
    i think i’m kinda hooked on nudis, too.

    just got my OW licence over the weekend in Redang (spotted the blue dragon and chromodoris coi) and am now looking forward to more dive trips, woohoo!!!!

  6. I think it’s some sort of sea slug right?

  7. piffles,
    wow, cool, welcome to the club! ;D

    JD,
    correct. πŸ˜€

  8. I love seeing all those creatures.. made me feel relaxed! But it’s hard to imagine myself scuba diving πŸ˜›

  9. Can’t find the black thing. yours no spots. maybe yours got chicken pox n it somehow cover the existing spots.

  10. Leo,
    Don’t need to imagine, just do it! πŸ˜€

    Haze,
    Oh well we’ll just refer to it as the black thing

  11. Very colorful stuff! Love the photos. πŸ™‚

    I wonder if the Nembrotha kubaryana is edible. Looks colorful…and poisonous.

  12. Huai Bin,
    Maybe u shd try and report the effects πŸ˜›

  13. foodcrazee

    http://bit.ly/aNBGnJ

    *edited by KY*

  14. foodcrazee

    forgotten the code. . .solli

  15. foodcrazee,
    I think you’re right, thanks! I edited the link too πŸ˜€

  16. i actually wondered how u searched for the names of those sanitary-pad look alike thingy..

    but as a person who likes photography, me likes the photos!

  17. No jellyfish?

  18. Yatz,
    hahaha from google!

    Sammy,
    luckily no! πŸ˜€

  19. Sheryl

    So colorful! Some of them are pretty cute too πŸ™‚

  20. Sheryl,
    yah they are! πŸ˜€

  21. Using s90 or the olympus >.<

  22. JaCJaC,
    s90, i don’t have underwater casing for olympus :S

  23. KY,

    I think the black nudibranch you’re refering is Nembrotha Milleri?
    http://www.seaslugforum.net/nembmill.htm

    • chrysalily: i think you got it! thanks πŸ˜€

      • No biggie. Nudibranches are cute creature. Somewhat beautiful in their own wormy way. Lol. I was reading your blog on Mabul and Sipadan which going to be my trip this September. Care to share some tips? πŸ˜‰

        • chrysalily: you’re going to love it there! I wanna go back to mabul/sipadan too. most important thing is to have your camera equipment fully working, and also always check ur depth! the wall can be deceiving

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