Postcard from the Reef – Sphinx Nudibranch

From a distance it looked like another common P. varicosa, a nudibranch I see all the time on the reef. Getting closer something was different. No protuberances, no yellow, what was it? Simply a juvenile that has not developed the full colors and pattern? Not knowing what it was I proceed to take a few photos of the critter.

Hitting the books it quickly becomes apparent, it was a P. sphingus I found and photographed. A new species for me! I carefully read through the descriptions of the various dorid nudibranch found in Hawai’i again. I need to look closer, there are some lookalikes to be aware of.

Sphinx Nudibranch
Sphinx Nudibranch (Phyllidiopsis sphingis) at 25′ depth, Puako

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i.

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