The Glossodoris cinta is a widespread nudibranch that resides from the east African coast, including the Red Sea and Madagascar, to the islands of the western Pacific Ocean, from Japan in the north to Fiji in the south.
The Glossodoris cinta comes in three different colour variations depending on location. Specimens from the southwestern Pacific Ocean have a mottled brown body with a bluish-white outer band, a yellow inner band, and a black band in-between, all on a very wrinkled mantle edge. Those occurring in the waters of the Philippines and Indonesia possess a bluish outer band on the mantle edge, and the inner black and yellow lines merge into a dark green band. The western Indian Ocean variation, as seen in this short videoclip, has a black band and a very thin to an almost no distinct bluish-white band at the edge of its mantle. Are they all the same species of nudibranch, or are they different species within the same genus? It is very difficult to tell, and opinions are divided on this matter.
Colour variations are common among the same nudibranch species. The nudibranch best known for its diversity in appearance is without a doubt the Hypselodoris bullocki. Although most colour variations are rather random within a specific population, some species exhibit variations depending on their location. Sometimes the differences can be very subtle, with mainly only a small body part of the nudibranch, like, for example, the mantle's edge; others might just differ in branchi (the plumage-like gill structure on the nudibranch's back) colouration or in rhinophores colouration.
Sometimes the difference between one and the same species can be morphological. For example, the in the Caribbean occurring Lettuce Sea Slug (Elysia cristata) has some very different appearances regarding the animal's folded mantle edge; some look very much like curly lettuce, while others have a very flat-like look without any wrinkles at all. Also, the amount of spots and lumps can vary widely in a single species of nudibranch. Phillidia species are known to possess a large wardrobe. The lumps on their mantle can vary in number, color, and size.
When filming macro or relatively small marine wildlife, it is important to get as close as possible to your subject. Make sure that the animal covers a big part of your frame, but ensure to keep enough space between the subject and the edges of the frame. This is necessary to eventually reposition your subject while editing. If you film from too far away, a lot of beautiful details will be lost. Scales, markings, skin structures, and even colours might not be fully appreciated by the viewer. Getting up close allows the camera to capture the intricate patterns and textures that make the subject unique. These details not only showcase the beauty of the creature but also offer insights into its biology and behaviour. Macro lenses or diopters are really necessary to achieve nice macro shots. These close-ups provide an intimate perspective that draws the audience into the finer nuances of the scene.
This short underwater videoclip has been filmed in Mauritius 🇲🇺
For other Glossodoris insights please go to vlog posts 193 or click here https://www.beyondscuba.com/post/dark-margin-glossodoris-glossodoris-atromarginata-aka-doriprismatica-atromarginata
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