Hermissenda crassicornis color variations

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Postby seekncritters » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:23 pm

98% of my dives have been in southern California, so I was very excited to recently dive Resurrection Bay in Alaska. Some of the nudibranchs I thought were new to me were actually different color variations of the same species, Hermissenda crassicornis (Horned Aeolid). Locally we just call them "Hermissendas". I thought it was interesting that the divers I spoke to in Alaska call them "Opalescent nudibranchs". They are so beautiful.

Here's an example of the color of Hermissendas I usually see (this one was near the "Lazy Dayz" wreck in San Diego, 2009):
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Hermissenda from the south end of "Humpy Cove" in Resurrection Bay, Alaska:
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The photos below are from "Hidden Treasure" in Resurrection Bay, Alaska:
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Canon Powershot SD990IS, Canon housing, single Inon Z-240 strobe

-Dana
Last edited by seekncritters on Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby nwscubamom » Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:13 pm

Hi Dana!

We see these often in the Pacific NW and they are the same color variation as the ones you saw in Alaska. I am always surprised at how different they look in California. We call them Opalescent Nudibranchs.

Typical for the NW:
Image

Typical Monterey variation:
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- Janna
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Postby seekncritters » Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:27 pm

Thanks Janna! I'm glad you posted the Monterey color variations to add to the collection for comparison. The one on the right in your second picture is a reddish-orange version that I've noticed up in the Channel Islands before... So pretty!

I corrected my post... I incorrectly recalled the common name that the Alaskans used... They also call the Hermissendas "Opalescent" nubibranchs. Interesting! I wonder why we don't call them Opalescent down here in SoCal. I don't recall anyone from here using the common name "Horned Aeolid", actually. I like the common name "Hermie" better than all of the others :D .

Thanks again,

Dana
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Postby Trace » Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:35 pm

Hey Dana,
I kind of put Hermissendas in the same class as Spanish Shawls, really common, but you still can't stop taking shots of them! As with your beauitiful photos there are always differnt ways of taking the shot, nice job!
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Postby seekncritters » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:14 pm

Thanks so much, Trace! :D

I know, the shawls and hermies are so common, and after 100's of shots you wonder how many more you can take. I will never tire of seeing them. We are very fortunate to see these critters so frequently.

I'll never forget the first time I saw a Spanish Shawl. You'd thought I'd found gold or something (more like purple and gold treasure!)! :D

-Dana
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