NTNU Vitenskapsmuseets blogger

Nudisafari 2011 at Gulen – several new species

By Torkild Bakken

The last weekend of March the Nudibranch Safari 2011 was held at Gulen Dive resort. The target was to collect as many species of nudibranchs – affectionately known as ‘nudies’ – as possible, and to learn more about the species and nudibranchs in general. The result was sensational. We found a total of 49 different species, more than half of all known species in Norway. Two species never before been registered in Norway and one not seen in 140 years was among the highlights.

Nudibranchs were being studied straight after collection. Photo: Torkild Bakken

This year’s nudibranch safari had attracted marine biologists, hobby biologists and several top underwater photographers. The attendance was international, with participants from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Faroe Islands. Gulen Dive Resort offers a fantastic house reef area with several different habitats suitable for many nudibranch species. Practically every single dive was done straight off the pier.

We made many interesting observations on last year’s nudibranch safari, and were expecting a lot this year. The expectations were met – easily. In total we found 49 species of nudibranchs, 13 more than last year.

The highlights were two species never before registered in Norway, Goniodoris castanea and Onchidoris oblonga. Tritonia lineata was also rediscovered – this species has not been seen since the original observation at Florø in Norway by G.O. Sars in 1878. In addition to these treats, we found several nudibranchs that really had us thinking very hard. We might be talking about new species.

Jussi is drawing and taking notes on a Doto species we are not yet able to identify. Photo: Torkild Bakken

The list below shows all the species found during the nudibranch safari. Some findings need closer scrutiny for a certain identification, so the list does not count all 49 species.

We would like to extend our thanks to organizer Christian Skauge as well as to Monica Bakkeli and Ørjan Sandnes at Gulen Dive Resort for organizing the nudibranch safaris.

Link to Gulen Dive Resort

This is a translation of a previous article from March 2011. Translation by Christian Skauge.

The participants in the nudibranch safari were totally hooked. The nudibranchs showed up in many different variations – a big thanks to Hege Bye-Børresen for her confectionery artwork! Photo: Torkild Bakken