Gallery quality underwater photographic print by Paul Waldeck, available framed or unframed in several sizes.
This nudibranch is is giving a ride to a beautiful Hingebeak Shrimp. It is unusual to see these two species together. This species of Hingebeak Shrimp usually is found in large colonies, deep in crevices and holes in the coral reef.
Nudibranchs are sea slugs without shells. Many nudibranchs are brightly colored, and are the underwater analogs of butterflies. The name Nudibranch means "naked gills" and most nudibranchs have plumed gills outside the body.The vast majority of nudibranchs also have pairs of sensory organs called Rhinopores on their heads.
Nudibranchs propel themselves forward by muscular contractions of a fleshy foot and protect themselves with camouflage or chemical warfare. Bright colors can be used to warn predators that they are toxic or noxious. Some nudibranchs ingest the nematocysts (stinging cells) of their prey and use these cells they as weapons against predation. Some secrete acids which are toxic. Some nudibranchs have life cycles which last only 6 weeks; others live for over a year. Most nudibranchs are one to three inches in length.
Photographed in Papua New Guinea