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Dive Reports

01-03-2024 Hancock Shoals

DAY/DATE

Friday

01/03/2024

SITE/S

Hancock Shoals
off Mt. Peregian 

 

PARTICIPANTS

Harvey & David

 

TYPE

Subtidal

 

MODE

Boat Dives

 

VESSEL

Li’l Mischief

 

DIVE

1

2

SITE/S

Hancock Shoals

Hancock Shoals

SPECIES #

16

15

DURATION

89 Min

75 Min

DEPTH/RANGE

10-13 m

10-13 m

TEMP.

28 C

28 C

VIS.

8-10 m

8-10 m

SURGE

Slight

Slight

CURRENT

Nil

Nil

COMMENTS & OBSERVATIONS

A recent Reef Check report on diving conditions on the Hancock Shoals caught our attention. The site is always a good hunting ground for sea slugs. The decreasing swell and the reasonable visibility reported convinced us that it would be worth a trip up along the coast. Great surface conditions allowed for a fast run up past Mudjimba Island, past Pt. Arkwright and on to Peregian. We were in the water hunting sea slugs before 07:00. The collaborative effort saw a respectable 25 species recorded over the two dives – some of therm not-so-common finds. These included: Abronica sp. 01, Coryphellina sp. 01, Hypselodoris sp. 09, Miamira magnifica & Tenellia sp. 35. Harvey was pleased to have found and recorded his first Tritoniopsis elegans after the species had eluded him for so long. Be sure to check out Harvey’s stunning images of some of our finds included in the Image Gallery below. The single Bornella anguilla was the biggest and plumpest sighted thus far, at more than 100 mm in length. We are looking forward to winter conditions when the swell will decrease and the visibility increase, allowing a greater appreciation of the site.

Taxonomic Diversity:
All twenty-five of the sighted species were nudibranchs, with 18 being dorids comprising 2 x phanerobranchs (non-retractile gill), 4 x porostomes (suctorial feeders – all of the Phyllidiidae family), 12 x cryptobranchs (retractable gill – all 12 belonging to the Chromodorididae family) and 7 were cladobranchs comprising 5 x aeolids, 0 x arminids and 2 x dendronotinids. If diet is considered then 18 of the 25 species sighted are spongivores. Interestingly, only nudibranchs were sighted across the two dives, the members of the other sea slug orders being absent or, more likely, managed to escape our attention. 74 specimens in total were recorded.

Our Historical Data:
– This excursion brings the number of survey dives to 13 at Hancock Shoals since we commenced fully recording data here on 03/06/2014.
– 107 species have been recorded at this site.
– Our most commonly recorded species at Hancock Shoals are Doriprismatica atromarginata (100%), Glossodoris vespa (93%) Goniobranchus splendidus (93%) and Hypselodoris jacksoni (93%) – all sighted again on this excursion.
– This is the first time we have recorded Abronica sp. 01, Ceratosoma tenue, Coryphellina sp. 01, Hypselodoris sp. 09 or Tenellia sp. 35  at this site.
– Our last survey at Hancock Shoals was on 10/03/2021
(Historical data courtesy of Terry Farr, who extracts it from his comprehensive database.)

Key to symbols
+++ New Species
+ First time sighted at this site
# Most commonly sighted at this site with %

TOTAL SPECIES SIGHTED: 25

 

SPECIES LIST – ALPHABETICAL

Abronica sp. 01 1/- +
Aegires citrinus -/1
Aegires gardineri 1/-
Bornella anguilla -/1
Ceratosoma tenue 2/- +
Coryphellina sp. 01 1/- +
Doriprismatica atromarginata 6/6 #100%
Glossodoris vespa 1/- #93%
Goniobranchus leopardus -/2
Goniobranchus splendidus 3/3 #93%
Hypselodoris jacksoni -/2 #93%
Hypselodoris obscura -/2
Hypselodoris sp. 09 -/1 +
Hypselodoris tryoni -/2
Hypselodoris whitei 2/-
Mexichromis macropus 1/-
Miamira magnifica 2/-
Phyllidia exquisita -/1
Phyllidia guamensis 1/1
Phyllidia ocellata -/1
Phyllidiella pustulosa 3/5
Samla bicolor 1/-
Tenellia sibogae 6/7
Tenellia sp. 35 3/- +
Tritoniopsis elegans 3/2

SPECIES GROUPED BY ORDER

Nudibranchia
Dorids
Phanerobranchs
Aegires citrinus -/1
Aegires gardineri 1/-
Cryptobranchs
Ceratosoma tenue 2/-
Doriprismatica atromarginata 6/6 
Glossodoris vespa 1/- 
Goniobranchus leopardus -/2
Goniobranchus splendidus 3/3
Hypselodoris jacksoni -/2
Hypselodoris obscura -/2
Hypselodoris sp. 09 -/1
Hypselodoris tryoni -/2
Hypselodoris whitei 2/-
Mexichromis macropus 1/-
Miamira magnifica 2/-
Porostomes
Phyllidia exquisita -/1
Phyllidia guamensis 1/1
Phyllidia ocellata -/1
Phyllidiella pustulosa 3/5

Cladobranchs
Aeolids
Abronica sp. 01 1/-
Coryphellina sp. 01 1/-
Samla bicolor 1/-
Tenellia sibogae 6/7
Tenellia sp. 35 3/-

Arminids

Dendronotinids
Bornella anguilla -/1
Tritoniopsis elegans 3/2

Cephalaspidea
– 

Pteropoda

Sacoglossa


Umbraculoidea

Pleurobranchoidea

Anaspidea

DIVE IMAGES GALLERY

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