Bumpy Dendrodoris with Emperor Shrimp
Dendrodoris tuberculosa

 

This week we were diving at Jahir 2, one of our great muck sites. It the midst of the expanse of black featureless sand Jenly, our trainee dive guide, spotted a very cool and interesting nudi, a Bumpy Dendrodoris.

At first glance, though a fairly large nudi at around 10cm/3”, it doesn’t look that amazing, particularly as Jahir at 25m/85ft does not have a lot of light and things tend to look rather colourless and drab. But with lights and a macro lens these wonderful nudis really take your breath away. This is only the second one I’ve seen and I had forgotten how beautiful they are. Their body is an incredible shape, with different sized bumpy buds sprouting all over their bodies. The buds are different colours, some red, some green and some blue. Amazing sense organs stick out of the front of their head and a big set of gills sits on their back…

..and, to make this sighting even more special, there were three Emperor Shrimp on the nudi too!! Emperor Shrimp generally live of several different types of Sea Cucumber, but we occasionally find them living on nudis too. Their relationship is communalistic, meaning the shrimp benefits by receiving things like protection, transportation or food and the sea cucumber is unaffected. They hang around the nudi, sometimes going to the skirt to feed in the sand as their host carries them around.

An amazing creature, and wonderful to watch the shrimp moving and the fantastic structure and shape of the nudi, well worth watching full screen…

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