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200. A burying nudibranch (Doris sp.1)


An unnamed nudibranch belonging to the Doridae family is moving through the sand of a Mauritian reef. Until this probably endemic species to Mauritius and Réunion receives a comprehensive scientific description and an official name, it will be referred to as "Doris sp.1." Sightings of this nudibranch in the waters of the Mascarene Islands, to which Mauritius and the French island of Réunion are geographically linked, have been scarce. The scarcity of publications on this Dorid nudibranch made it quite challenging for me to identify this species.

This nudibranch has a relative inhabiting the waters of East Africa, Madagascar, the Indonesian Archipelago, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and the Marshall Islands. The tubercules of this related species are dark, nearly black in colour. It is known as the "Pineapple Doris" (Doris ananas) due to its resemblance in both shape and color to the tropical fruit.

On the rare occasions when this nudibranch has been spotted, it is often seen crawling through the sand. The exact reason for this behaviour remains unknown. Nudibranch species frequently crawl or burrow in the substrate in search of food, to seek refuge from potential predators, or to escape strong currents.

The remote islands of the Mascarenes and their surrounding waters, which are situated in the Indian Ocean, are renowned for harbouring numerous endemic species. These islands are significantly distant from neighbouring continents, with Madagascar being approximately 800 km/500 mi away, the African continent even farther west at 1800 km/1120 mi, the Indian peninsula to the north approximately 3200 km/2000 mi away, and Australia to the east even more distant at around 5800 km/3600 mi. As a result, many animal and plant species in this region have evolved differently compared to those on the nearby continents, resulting in a unique biotope, even under water.


Technique-wise, in post-production, I removed the blue hue cast by the water on the white sand, which was prevalent in the background, by simply desaturating the blue tones. To ensure that the nudibranch, partially buried in the sand, stood out in the image, I enhanced the intensity of the yellow on its mantle and tubercules. To emphasise the movement of this small marine slug that was pushing the grains of sand away with its head, I combined the sounds of gravel and sand with a slimy noise.

The selection of accompanying music for this short underwater videoclip was a deliberate and thoughtful process, undertaken with the aim of augmenting the viewer's experience. The intention was to infuse a touch of intrigue and enigma into the video, ensuring that it resonated on a deeper emotional level.

The careful consideration of music added an extra layer of immersion to the underwater scenes, elevating the overall impact of the clip. By choosing the right soundtrack, I sought to create a captivating and unforgettable atmosphere, allowing the audience to be drawn into the mysterious world of marine wildlife and explore the hidden secrets of the ocean depths with a heightened sense of wonder and curiosity.

Filming location:

This short underwater videoclip has been filmed in Mauritius 🇲🇺

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