Much diving in the TAR Park in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah: We’ve just updated our section on Nudibranch Marine Biology when Downbelow MD & underwater photographer Richard, added the awesome picture in this post to his Nudibranch / Seaslug photo album on Facebook.
As you’ll discover from the marine biology of the nudi, they are quite complex creatures and their mating ritual not less so.
Once the mating dance has been completed, only one of the hermaphroditic pair will lay eggs.
The eggs are brightly coloured, however, although it’s not obvious from this photo, the eggs’ colour actually matches the tone of the coral the nudibranch is on. The camouflaging effect aids in protecting the eggs from predators looking for a snack.
Laid in an anti-clockwise spiral, the thousands of eggs give the mass a texture that makes it resemble the coral even more.
The nudibranch larvae will enter a planktonic stage after hatching, floating free of the reef mostly at the mercy of currents and winds.
Once this treacherous phase of life have been survived, they will settle on the coral blocks to continue their colourful, facinating existance.
The TAR Park off Kota Kinabalu’s coast thrives with all manner of nudibranches, which, as Richard illustrates, makes for facinating underwater photography subjects.