Between Friday 7 – Monday 10 June 2019 people all across Port Phillip Bay, Westernport Bay and surrounds submitted their photos of nudibranchs as part of the fourth Melbourne Sea Slug Census.
Conditions over the weekend were challenging, and the slugs were relatively scarce. However, we did still receive records of 29 individual species. Well done to everyone who was out and about, and even if you didn’t find a single nudibranch, side-gill or sap sucking sea slug we hope you enjoyed exploring a different side of our wonderful marine environment at this time of year.
We’re pleased to let you know the winners of the fourth Melbourne Sea Slug Census photo competition!
Winter Warmer Award: Karen Barwise (Ceratosoma amoenum, Boarfish Reef)
- Voted by Bob Burn and the ReefWatch team for its warmth, composition and clarity, this photo of a Ceratosoma amoenum was a perfect remedy for the chilly conditions of the June census. Bob thinks this is a lovely species, and we agree. Well done Karen.
Photo: Karen Barwise
Most interesting species: Nick Shaw (Aplysiopsis formosa, Sorrento back beach)
- This introduced species has different patterns on each side of its cerata, which Nick was able to capture in this beautiful shot. Well done Nick.
Photo: Nick Shaw
Honorable mention- Slugging it out for Science: Nick Shaw (Facelina sp. RB3, Point Lonsdale)
- Our experts can’t stress enough the importance of clear photos that capture the body shape of the slugs you find, as this will help them identify them- many slugs can look very similar, and it may come down to the shape of their mouthparts, or the texture of their rhinophores, to tell them apart.
- This relatively drab nudibranch may not win any beauty contests, but Bob Burn singled it out as a great shot for identification as it clearly shows the colouring, shape, relative size and many of its defining features.
Photo: Nick Shaw
Thanks again to everyone who sent in photos, and anyone else who kept an eye out for slugs whilst they were out and about experiencing our wonderful marine environment.
Our next Melbourne Sea Slug Census will be held between Friday 4 to Monday 7 October 2019. The October Census of 2018 was massive for sea slug diversity, with 75 species spotted. Here’s hoping our nudi hunters can find even more this year!