SEX IN THE SLIME – NUDIBRANCHS SHOCK ELDERLY DIVER
© Ian Robertson, 2005

Place: In Between Reef – off Rottnest Island, Perth, WA
Date: 29th January 2005. Early morning dive off Lionfish IV – Perth Diving Academy.

WARNING:  This article contains nudity, a sex scene, sexual references and adult themes.
It should only be read by those adult enough, but not knowing any better!

Visibility had been a bit average the last two weekends, so I prepared for macro-photography and met up on the boat with fellow divers, Hazel, Micy and Nicole at 6 am.  We were taken to In Between Reef, a reef I had not visited before.  The water was surprisingly clear (18 m and 19ºC).  A large blue, black and orange Chromodoris westraliensis, happily browsing among sponges and brown algae filaments, posed for me right at the start. 

Micy and Hazel kitting up – photo D Roberts

Chromodoris westraliensis – just the beginning

Next was a stumpy pale yellow nudibranch with brown appendages and a white frill but I was completely unprepared for the wholesale licentious behaviour that surrounded me. Micy’s sharp eyes found another macro target and she beckoned me over. It was a pair of small but delicate, mauve Sagaminopteron ornatum nudibranchs with thin orange frills and appendages. Their frills were wrapped tightly around their nudibranch bodies - dressed to kill. But what were they up to? Courting, I suspected. WELL, WHATEVER NEXT!

A yellow unidentified nudibranch

Courting couple (Sagaminopteron ornatum)
‘My! You are a big boy, is that all for me?’

Next came quite soon. Another Micy find (My! She has sharp eyes!) A pair of nudibranchs (Mexichromis macropus), with white bodies, orange-flecked frills and mauve appendages, groped passionately for each other on a blanket of pale brown algae and orange sponges. With the new lenses in my mask, I could actually see them for once. This was just TOO MUCH!

Then another pair of Mexichromis macropus, curled and snuggled into one another and definitely busily 'at it'. SHOCKING! AND IN PUBLIC TOO! Another pair further on, lay nose to tail, in post-coital exhaustion, with a third but different nudibranch (Ceratosoma amoena) with orange-brown spots joining in and forming a ménage a trois! IS THERE NO END TO THIS DEPRAVITY?

Mexichromis macropus definitely preoccupied!
Pant! ‘yes, Yes, YES, YES, YES!’

Gymnodoris alba disconsolately looking for a mate.

A slim, rare Gymnodoris alba, with orange flecks picked its way disconsolately over white sponges and brown algae, looking for a mate and, lastly, a huge and stately brown and white Glossodoris rufomarginata nudibranch browsed sedately and was the last to pose for the camera, in a vain attempt to give an aura of respectability to this licentious spot.

A stately Glossodoris rufomarginata - blind to its surroundings

A great dive and well worth the early start! Thanks to skipper Darroll and divemaster Luke for the usual excellent organization. For once I had managed to bring the right camera. I’m sure all this activity will ensure there are more tiny nudibranchs to delight us in the future. To those of you who have actually read this piece of nonsense to the very end and looked at the pornographic pictures, I say ‘Whatever floats your boat!’

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