25. February 2017: The Marine Flora is introduced on seawater.no
I am happy to introduce the flora section of this website. The number of species are very limited from the start, but is expected to increase as plants get more of my attention during future dives. It will be a challenge to identify new species from pictures alone. Many species requires a closer inspection in a microscope to be identified with certainty.
15. February 2017: Scratching the surface (species no. 392 on seawater.no)
While swimming in the surface after the dive a saw a medusa I did not recognize. Of course, I used the opportunity to shoot quite a few shots, hoping to have collected a new species to my website. When I was satisfied and for the second time turned against the beach, a worm came swimming right into my mask. After a new shootout I could add both the Modeeria rotunda and Tomopteris (Johnstonella) helgolandica to my collection.
Earlier on the dive, while taking some shots of the tiny crab, Liocarcinus pusillus, I was disturbed by two brittle stars crawling over the poor crab. I had all my attention directed towards the crab, and did not realize that the brittle stars represented a new species to me and my website, the Ophiura albida. Luckily they appeared on a few shots, basically by accident.
22. November 2016: My first encounter with a black-mouthed dogfish
The black-mouthed dogfish is not often seen by scuba divers, but I have heard stories from some of my scuba diving friends, observing it during dark winter nights. Protected by the dark, it sometimes approaches the surface. Not once have I met this beautiful creature, during more than 500 scuba dives in the Trondheim Fjord.
We have some spots with muddy slopes where deep water species like the velvet-belly lantern shark, the rabbit fish and the blue withing thrive during the winter. I visited one of those spots, trying to improve my pictures of the mentioned species. I approached 40 meters and spotted a few velvet-belly lantern sharks, but did not manage any decent pictures of them. The hunt came to a halt when I saw a significantly bigger shark below me. I descended 6 more meters. A black-mouthed dogfish tried to swim away from my light, but decided after a few seconds to find a resting place at the bottom. I appreciated that very much, as it enabled me to get a few decent shots of it. After a few minutes it got tired of me and disappeared into the deep again. I was happy though, and added a few shots of velvet-belly lantern shark on my return to the surface.
2. March 2016: A new shrimp on seawater.no
The quite common Eualus gaimardii has escaped me for all this years, but not anymore, after a trip to Rørvik, Nord-Trøndelag.
29. February 2016: Chitons revisited
A large and beautiful chiton caught my eye during a dive in Rørvik, a few weeks ago. This turned out to be a Tonicella marmorea, that I had not registered on seawater.no before. This made me go through the image archive again, and a grey chiton turned up as well. Revisiting all the chiton images, made me remove some old photos and add a few new ones.
12. November 2015: A common hydroid that has stayed below my radar for many years.
I have often been hunting for nudibranchs in hydroids, but too often I seem to miss the hydroid itself. Not this time, this is Abietinaria abietina.
7. November 2015: The first salp finally appeared in front of my camera.
I have at some rare occasions seen salps before, forming long chains of gelatinous zooids. When I took my first picture of one, I had no idea what it was. It did not appear as chain, as I would have expected. In stead it looked more like a hydromedusae. As always, when I am not sure what I am looking at, I took some pictures. This time it turned out to be a colony of the salp Cyclosalpa bakeri.
New genetic studies have shown that the nudibranchs formerly known as Dendronotus frondosus includes more several species. Three of them seem quite common along the coast of Norway. Read more here.
29. March 2015: A tiny bivalve turned up on an image.
Looking through the images from of the last dive, I discovered a tiny scallop, just next to a colony of Botryllus leachii. I did not notice it during the dive, but was happy to find out it was small and not too common scallop, Heteranomia squamula.
9. December 2014: A lot of floats in the water today!
There were a lot of stuff floating around in the sea today, beautiful hula skirts, sea gooseberries and sea star larvae. I also came across a new medusa, requiring attention by its share size and the unusual number of radial canals. Uncertain of what it was, I made sure to take a lot of pictures of it. It turned out to be an Aequorea forskalea.
26. June 2014: A new sponge
A revisit to a dive site where I have done more than 30 dives previously, I managed to find a new species. A brick red sponge caught may attention. After a check in the literature later on, it turned out to be Aplysilla rosea. The hunt for new motives make it worthwhile to come back to the same spots over and over again.
28. April 2014: (New species): Two new bryozoans, one "new" and one "old".
During a quick visit to Kristiansund, I had the pleasure of diving with Nils Aukan. He took me on a boat trip to a place where the bryozoan Caberea ellisii was abundant. I have never noticed it before, but here it was "everywhere". Back home, I was inspired to look through some old photos and found another, similar species, Cradoscrupocellaria reptans.
25. March 2014: (New species): A "new" Ribbon Worm on Seawater.no
The normally well buried and hence rarely seen ribbon worm, Tubulanus superbus, was seen on a stroll in the open. I was about to ascend from the dive's maximum depth, when a tiny worm caught my eyes. It was disclosed by the vivid colors, rather than the size, being only two or three millimeters wide. To avoid a too long decompression time, I had to leave after just a few shots. I am fascinated by the pattern on these creatures. It is not often you see the nature design a checkerboard pattern like this.
Winterly weather did not stop me from driving 600 km to revisit the Nudibranch Safari at Gulen Dive Resort this year. In addition to great diving opportunities there were lectures on nudibranchs by experts like Bernard Picton, Jussi Evertsen and Torkild Bakken. Although there were not as many nudibranchs as last year, there were enough highlights to ensure the trip was an success.
Three new species, not previously described on Seawater.no, were found. Seawater.no now includes a total of 373 different species.
7. February 2014: (New species): Diving in the archive
Searching in may image archive for something else, I stumbled upon some images of a worm that I had yet not identified and included on seawater.no. Searching in my regular sources I found it to be the peanut worm, Golfingia vulgaris.
14. January 2014: (New species): Flipping rocks on deep waters...
.. produced a new species on seawater.no. The Eunice norvegica thrives among stony corals on great depths, but you may find it under stones in the deeper end of your scuba dive. I have a habit of flipping rocks while killing time during decompression in shallow waters. It seems to be about time to change the habits somewhat. How knows, maybe more new species will turn up?
19. October 2013: (New species): I spent 25 minutes digging up a Parchment Worm
Maybe it was the combination of shallow water and a 30% Nitrox breathing gas that made me take the time to dig a large hole in the sandy bottom outside the island "Grisvågøy". I spent 25 minutes on 16 meters to dig out a 30 cm long tube that turned out to be inhabited by a Parchment Worm. I have never encountered this species before and did not understand what it was. Unfortunately, I did not have the sense to pull the worm out of the tube to have a proper look at it (and some proper shots of it, as well). Next time, I know better.
7. June 2013: (New species): The Northern Starfish is reintroduced on seawater.no
The Northern Starfish, on of the most common starfish in Norway is reintroduced on this website. I have finally learned how to distinguish the common starfish from the almost equally common northern starfish. So I went scuba diving and took some new photos today and published together with an image from the archive.
6. June 2013: (New species): The Netted Dog Whelk
It has become June and the netted dog whelk has just completed its yearly migration to very shallow waters. It is a small snail that usually stay buried in sand or gravel. This is probably why I have overlooked it, until know. From June to September it stays in the tidal zone, or just below, before it returns to slightly deeper waters, typically 10-20 meters.
1. June 2013: (New species): A trip to Skarnsundet (The Trondheim Fjord) brought a series of new species:
A trip to Skarnsundet resulted in a series of new species on seawater.no. Some of them, I did not even have to dive for. They where already in my image archive and identified by the help of the very knowledgeable Rudolf and Erling Svensen, who joined me on the trip. Others where found in the strong tidal currents of the narrow, but deep (200 meters) strait. If you plan a photo shoot in Skarnsundet, you should coordinate the time of the dive with the tidal water and preferably also the moon phase, to minimize the current. The strong current is however, the main reason for the large variety of species found there. Among the highlight of this trip were new pictures of a large sea fan, Paragorgia arborea. Finding this sea fan again, 16 years after the last observation of it, added significantly to our enjoyment this weekend. Old pictures revealed that it has grown significantly of the past decades. Thanks for the trip and all the new species:
- Some images of Geodia macandrewii were previously misidentified as G. baretti.
- An individual previously identified as V. mirabilis turned out to be V. tuberculata.
- The bryozoan I saw in Gulen this spring, Erling has identified as Tubulipora liliacea.
- The very modest bryozoan Crisia denticulata finally caught my eyes.
- I did not even see the small, but colorful top shell, Greenland margarite, when the photos were shot. I was aiming for a see slug sitting next to it, and my wife noticed the tiny creature when we reviewed the images.
- Studies of images of a tiny hermit crab revealed it was the not too common Cestopagurus timidus.
26. March 2013: (New species): Easter brought two new species.
As usual the whole family joined the "Draugen" scuba diving club on the traditional Easter trip to the island "Skårøya". On the last of five cold dives (the water temperature was 3-4 degree Celsius) I got two new species for this website. The nudibranch Ancula gibbosa and the bryozoan Exidmonea atlantica.
The 10 hours drive on winter roads from Trondheim to the Nudibranch Safari 2013 at Gulen, was definitely worthwhile. Meeting other nerds with a well developed interest for marine creatures as well as photography, is not an everyday experience for me. Lectures by Alex Mustard (photography) and Bernard Picton (nudibranchs) gave me new insights in both subjects. Five new species for seawater.no was a great bonus.
10. June 2012: (New species): A "new" amphipod, Gammarus duebeni
The sea star, Pteraster militaris, was not what I was looking for, as it turned up during a nudibranch hunt in the Trondheim Fjord.