Underwater photos from Indonesia – nudibranchs


(A pair of Much-Desired Flabellinas mating.)

We spent most of January in Indonesia and as part of the trip we spent 11 days on the fabulous Paradise Dancer live-aboard dive boat diving in the most bio-diverse waters in the world. The reefs were really healthy and there was an overwhelming abundance of life under the waves. I can strongly recommend the Aggressor and Dancer live-aboard boats!

In this post I want to show you the creatures that I like seeing the most – nudibranchs (sea slugs) and flatworms. I photographed an incredible 61 separate species on 36 dives – a record that's going to be hard to beat! Here are my favorite 20 from more than 2000 shots.

Click each image for a 1024×768 version. Let me know if you'd like a full-size copy of any for a desktop background. Enjoy!

Left to right below: Thysanozoon nigropapillosum (Yellowspot Flatworm) and Acanthozoon sp. (Papillate Flatworm).


Left to right below: Long-Cirri Phyllodesmium and Black-Margined Glossodoris.


Left to right below: Tyron's Resbecia mating and Serena's Notodoris.


Left to right below: Giant Hypselodoris and Willan's Chromodoris.


Left to right below: Elegant Phyllidia and Giant Hypselodoris just about to mate.


Left to right below: Serpent Pteraeolidia and Thysanozoon nigropapillosum (Yellowspot Flatworm) free-swimming on a night dive.


Left to right below: Dusky Nembrotha and Pseudobiceros bedfordi (Elegant Flatworm).


Left to right below: Anne's Chromodoris and Loch's Chromodoris.


Left to right below: Celestial Phyllidia mating and Purple-Edged Ceratosoma.


Below: Scalloped Ceratosoma.


9 thoughts on “Underwater photos from Indonesia – nudibranchs

  1. Wow. Seriously WOW.

    I am fascinated by them too, such a range of shapes and colours. Surprisingly for something so colourful and pretty, you can also get some interesting specimens in the UK too :)

    What do you use a for identification reference?

  2. Hey Darren – thanks! (and hi to your lovely wife!). Yup – there are some really cool ones in cold water – K and I plan to get dry suits and do more diving around Puget Sound this year – maybe next time you’re out here and the stars align we can go together?

    We use Neville Coleman’s Nudibranch Encyclopedia, plus the Nudipixel website and various other who have posted pictures of Indonesian critters.


  3. As always, great photos Paul! It seems that love was in the air (err…water).

    Thanks for sharing your diving experiences!

  4. Several years following you and Kimb, always impressed by your knowledge and great teaching skills and now, I find that you like photography and shoot great pics. Come on, Its a joke. I’m a amateur photographer since 1996. Its the second thing taking my time (after SQL Server, of course).
    Now, you have to write a blog about photography and I will spend all my time reading your blogs… :)


  5. Hi, Paul – what gear were you rocking to take these shots? Our DBA (Bob Pusateri) turned me onto your pics and a bunch of us over here in Chicago are blown away. BTW – we’re in the land of dry suit diving here and it’s been a great help with both dive comfort as well as extending the season. Hope you enjoy yours. :)

  6. Hey Eric – Thanks! I’m actually only using a Panasonic DMC-TZ5 point-and-shoot below water for these shots, with an Panasonic housing and an Ikelite slave-strobe. Above water I shoot a Canon 5D Mark II and 7D (e.g. for the previous Indonesia post). I’ll be taking the 5D underwater later this year in a Subal housing with Light & Motion Sola 1200 strobes and lights (like Kimberly does) – that’s a lot of gear to carry around – 70lb pelican case for the housing, domes, lights plus camera/lens backpack. Cheers

  7. I am a really cautious diver looking for a diving spot in January or a livaboard. My husband is very advanced and so we are looking for a mix. Any recommendations? Our jump off place is Armenia, since we are in the Peace Corps.

    1. Don’t know what to suggest I’m afraid – my experience is limited to the Caribbean and the Pacific. The Kona Aggressor in Hawaii is excellent that time of year, as is diving around north Sulawesi in Indonesia.

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