Friday, 3 April 2009

The Day I met Bella and Rupert

So it took me a while for my eye to adjust to the fact that the reef was not just a blur of color but was actually made up of individual living things. It as my first dive in Fiji where I saw them.

Never have I seen this marvel of  nature anywhere else, New Zealand could boast some wonderful creatures but none like this tiny perfectly painted shell-less molusc. And it instantly became my favourite - The Nudibranch.

From the Family Chromodorididae it took me some time to distinguish nudibranchs clearly from the flatworms which also frequent the reef. This tiny creature is intricate with colors that just amaze me.

So I began searching for them on every dive, the divemasters here, Mas, Jone and Jo definitly had developed their eye to find them and could spot one a good few meters away.

I'd thought I had seen them all, but today I found my favourite. With a light pink skirt and black stripes following the perfectly formed frame, I called them Bella and Rupert.

Now i'm sure there is many scientific experts on the subject of Nudibranchs that could identify classes and subclasses of these creatures on fine anatomical features. But all I can say (without sounding too girly) is that they are so pretty.

Kate the Kiwi Diving Instructor at Mad Fish Dive Centre