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Dive Reports

21-06-2024 Middle Island

DAY/DATE

Friday

21/06/2024

SITE/S

Middle Island
Bowen 

 

PARTICIPANTS

Terry & Julie

 

TYPE

Subtidal

 

MODE

Boat Dives

 

VESSEL

Rebel II

 

DIVE

1

2

SITE/S

Middle Is. North

Middle Is. North

SPECIES #

5

5

DURATION

63 Min

67 Min

DEPTH/RANGE

9.1 m

8.8 m

TEMP.

23 C

23 C

VIS.

3 m

3 m

SURGE

Nil

Nil

CURRENT

Nil

Nil

COMMENTS & OBSERVATIONS

We headed off to Middle Island in the hope that the visibility may have improved considering how good it is on the shore dives here. Conditions were lumpy on the way to the island but we pressed on (rough, lumpy here is equal to an okay day on the Sunshine Coast 😊). Finding it choppy and gusty at our normal sites here we decided to explore the northern side of the island which would be protected. Although it did not look promising on the sounder and you could not see the bottom in 5m of water we hopped in anyway. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of coral and variety of substrate. The site also contained some sponges, an occasional hydroid and rubble patches. Phyllidiids rule again with the Verconia simplex being tiny. Finding the Hypselodoris tryoni crawling on a big rock in the shallows was a nice find, they were not together but not far apart either. Being a new site we probably spent too much time exploring and not enough time concentrating on looking for tiny stuff. 

Taxonomic Diversity:
All 9 of the sighted species were nudibranchs, with 8 being dorids comprising 0 x phanerobranchs (non-retractile gill), 6 x porostomes (suctorial feeders  of the Phyllidiidae family), 2 x cryptobranchs (retractable gill) and 1 x cladobranch comprising 1 x aeolid, 0 x arminids and 0 x dendronotinids. If diet is considered 8 of the 9 species sighted were spongivores.

Our Historical Data:
This is the first occasion on which we have recorded Caloria indica in the Whitsundays.
These are our first two survey dives at this site so no other historical information is available.

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

TOTAL SPECIES SIGHTED: 9

 

SPECIES LIST – ALPHABETICAL

Caloria indica -/1 +
Hypselodoris tryoni -/3
Phyllidia coelestis -/1
Phyllidia sp. 04 -/1
Phyllidia varicosa 1/-
Phyllidiella cf. pustulosa 1/2
Phyllidiella pustulosa 1/-
Phyllidiella sp. 05 1/-
Verconia simplex 1/-

SPECIES GROUPED BY ORDER

Nudibranchia
Dorids
Phanerobranchs

Cryptobranchs
Hypselodoris tryoni -/3
Verconia simplex 1/-
Porostomes
Phyllidia coelestis -/1
Phyllidia sp. 04 -/1
Phyllidia varicosa 1/-
Phyllidiella cf. pustulosa 1/2
Phyllidiella pustulosa 1/-
Phyllidiella sp. 05 1/-
Cladobranchs
Aeolids
Caloria indica -/1
Arminids

Dendronotinids

Cephalaspidea
– 

Pteropoda

Sacoglossa

Umbraculoidea

Pleurobranchoidea

Anaspidea

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