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In search of nudibranchs ...

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 


Nudibranchs are the sea cousins of land slugs. Their gills are exposed, naked, hence their name ...

Fresh water and poor visibility

Starting this Tuesday, I start diving in Tioman. First surprise: the water is COLD !!!! I know, everything is relative, but here, in this season, we lose almost 4 degrees compared to the very warm waters of the Perhentian.

It's enormous. Spend an hour in water at 30 ° C, okay. But at 25-26 ° C, it's chills and systematic clapping of teeth for the chilly diver that I am. From now on, I will put tank top + T-shirt under my too thin diving suit.

Another surprise, which isn't really a surprise, actually, because I had been warned about this: in July-August, visibility is even worse here in Tioman than in the Perhentian Islands and Redang. I realise this from the first exploration trips, which are made on small fishing boat wrecks close to the coast.

The fascinating sea slugs

As a result, we are less interested in the "big" animals that may pass by in the distance and that we don't see anyway, given the "fog" that reigns in the water, to look at the case of small animals.

Among these very interesting little things that are an inexhaustible subject for those who, like me, do underwater photography (I have my little compact in its waterproof case with me on each of my dives): the nudibranchs.

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These critters are vague relatives of our land slugs, but much prettier. There are hundreds and hundreds of them, listed in a Bible called 1001 Nudibranchs, whom we hasten to consult when we return to dive shop.

Nudibranchs, there are big and small, long and short, long and short, patches and thin ones, some with an "afro" blow and others covered with pustules. All adorned with new and changing colours. A real festival. 

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The above pustular nudibranchs are among the most common species of nudibranchs encountered in Asian waters.

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006

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