On the hunt for tiny crustaceans

Subject: Filmed in Bali (Indonesia), this Melibe sea slug (Melibe viridis) is on the hunt for tiny crustaceans. It does so by scraping the substrate with its oral hood. Melibes live in a symbiotic relationship with single-celled algae known as zooaxanthellae. These algae are stored in bundles on the surface of the slug’s cerata (the paddle-like gill structures on both side of the body). When food is scarce it relies on the algae cells, which it digests in small portions.

Technique: Filming a pale semi-transparent animal on a pale background requires a boost in colours and some extra contrast in post-production. The green of the underwater vegetation was also enhanced and sounds were added to increase the veraciousness of the scene.

All images Copyright 2020 Olivier Van den Broeck and Greet Meulepas for Beyond scuba. All rights reserved.