A Nudi Party

The cave was huge, one of the largest I had ever seen on the Kona Coast. It was also thick with sponge, the ceiling inches deep in places… Perfect nudibranch habitat.

Pete found this group, a cluster of white margin nudibranch having a… uh… party? The results of the “party” can be seen in the center of the photo, small white, spiral egg masses.

The photo is actually upside down, the party was taking place on the ceiling.

White-Margin Nudibranch and Eggs
Several white-margin nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata) apparently mating and laying eggs

Postcard from the Reef – Nudi Eggs

A little spiral on a rock, an odd looking thing, a bright white against the reds and yellows of the sponges. I spotted the spiral from some distance away across the cave. But I know what to look for, sweeping the rock with my dive light.

The nudibranch themselves are nearby, on the same face of the rock. I find three white-margin nudibranch, two quite large at about 3cm, the largest I have seen this species. A much smaller specimen is close by, less than half the length of the adult. These are a handsome species, always nice to find.

White-margin Nudibranch Egg Mass
White-margin Nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata) egg mass

I am surprised that the eggs are not quickly eaten by fish or other predators. There must be some defense mechanism in play, a foul taste, a toxin, nudibranch are known to employ such tactics.

White-margin Nudibranch
A pair of White-margin Nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata), 25ft depth at O'oma