I will keep this post short, as my third Silver Steps shoredive of the year was a week ago. As you can see above, my dive was made by encountering the beautiful nudibranch Antiopella cristata (although I prefer the old name Janolus cristatus…). My camera battery strangely gave up straight after taking these pics (argh!), otherwise I would have bothered it for at least another ten minutes! The 60mm lens is great. Look at the European cowrie Trivia monacha below which is less than a centimeter in length. Not a great shot but it shows that it is possible. Finally, a common Phoronid worm Phoronis hippocrepia (Thanks Allison, please check out her great blog Notes from a California naturalist). I hope the wind will die down and I can go back soon.
Thanks for sharing your photos and dive experiences!
I suspect that the critters in your last photo are phoronid worms rather than hydrozoans. The tentacular array looks more like a lophophore than anything I’ve seen on a hydroid.
Hi Allison, thanks a lot! I knew something wasn’t right, I could not find anything similar in my SeaSearch Guide to Bryozoans and Hydroids or on aphotomarine.com. I was too lazy to dig a bit deeper, but I now remember seeing pictures. it must be Phoronis hippocrepia. I have changed it now.
Hi mickey great shots. The Hydrozoa is a colony of horseshoe worms. Phoronis hippocrepia. Really lovely creatures and very hard to photograph!
Hi Matt, yes Allison (who has a fantastic American blog) told me as well and have amended the blog post (+ blog link). Definitely a lot of potential for a great photo but not easy! cheers Mick