Hunting for critters in Lembeh is a bit like collecting real-life pokémon! Some nudibranchs are so elusive, with such fantastic colours and patterns, that they have taken on Pokémon names as their common names. One is the famous ‘Pikachu nudibranch’ which closely resembles the most famous character of them all, however, the Pikachu nudi is just one of a whole genus of similar-looking nudis. Including the stunning Thecacera picta pictured above, which we think resembles a cute cow! This is just one of the highlights of diving from Two Fish Divers Lembeh – so much variety of weird and wonderful species!
The Thecacera genus is very distinctive; they range from white and yellow through to grey or even black base colours but their bodies are often translucent. This means you can see some of their internal organs! The naked lungs, which defines them as ‘nudibranchs’, are visible on the back of the body along with two unusual protrusions. This genus belongs to the group of nudibranchs known as ‘Phanerobranch Dorids’ which include all those nudis that can’t retract their gills into a pocket or sheath for protection. Instead, they have evolved extra appendages to divert attention away from the vital organs.
Nudibranchs are very resilient and can withstand losing a chunk here and there – it doesn’t take long to grow back! These defensive growths result in spectacular variations which makes sighting all the species (and finding new ones!) an addictive diving pastime.
We’ve had a lot of fun ‘playing around’ with extra tanks this week as Kelly completed her PADI Sidemount course with instructor Dan! Congratulations on completing the course and for also completing the PADI Self-Reliant Diver training. Look out for more information about these exciting courses in a blog post coming soon! In the meantime, do you fancy coming Pokémon critter hunting with us? Get in touch below to plan some epic muck diving!
If you’d like to join us in Lembeh for thecacera hunting – and many other critters (!!), fill in the form below and we will get right back to you!