The trip to Bonaire ended too soon. Six days of dives, with a bonus of kayaking and snorkeling in the mangroves on our no-dive day. The best slug-watching happened in the first few days.
The site with the highest slug count this year was Jeff Davis Memorial (named for the physician, not the Confederate leader). It is usually a favorite of ours, but this year seemed to have more dead coral than usual. On the positive side, we easily found at least a dozen E. crispata among the rubble.
The blue of this one was so intense, it jumped out from many feet away. The camera did not really capture the intensity.
The slug below was more acrobatic than most. The average E. crispata just sits there, or moves along gracefully, but this gal seemed to have somewhere to go. Eventually she fell off, and found herself in a new spot.
We also got a chance to explore the mangroves on the east side of the island. Although no actual Elysia were found this year, the conditions look good. For example, the clump of Halimeda and Caulerpa below would be a great place to find E. tuca, among other species. Maybe next year?
The sponges, tunicates and hydroids, like those below, would also be excellent places to hunt for nudibranchs.
We’re taking a bit of a break from winter and work, and have escaped to Bonaire for about a week. As always, the diving is amazing, with hordes of beautiful fishes, along with healthy corals and amazing sponges. But you are not an avid fan of this site because of fluff like that.
Although our search for other species of Elysia has not been successful as yet, there have been plenty of E. crispata. One does not even need to venture very far to find them. After a dive from the Bonaire Dive and Adventure dock to check some recently repaired equipment, who did we find right next to the exit in a few feet of water? This little beauty was waiting as if to wish us a good evening.
One usually finds these guys on surfaces that appear devoid of food plants. However, looking closely, a short, sparse turf of green algae can be seen. With a vivid imagination, you might even be able to make out some little branches on the filaments, suggesting the presence of Bryopsis. Or maybe not.
Time for more adventures with untamed slugs. More soon.