We spotted a Aeolidia papilosa at Reguio this weekend, with hood extended. I assume that there's a hapless but tasty anemone underneath that this one is delightedly sucking in. This was smaller than the individual we spotted last week.
The water at Refugio was 47F by my gauge, 43F by my buddy's. We had strong winds all last week and some deeper water mixed with the shallow. It must be really cold deeper down. This is as cold as I've ever experienced at Refugio -- and in June!
Here it is again, showing a neighboring sand dab watching with a disgusted expression.
Apparently, opalescence is a specific property of some semi-transparent materials. Light appears bluish when reflected at an angle from inside these materials, but reddish-yellow after passing through the material. Opals are an example. This opalescent nudibranch was on the wall near Rat Rock. Actually to me it looks like this nudibranch is lit up like a neon tube from the inside.
These zoanthids were on the front, or north, side of Anacapa, near Rat Rock. They made me think of a cave covered with zoanthids that I once dived in, near Eaglehawk Neck in Tasmania. Zoanthids are popular pets, for aquarists.
This nudibranch looked like a scrubbrush, lying on a field of sea apples south of the big ledge at Refgugio. According to Pacific Coast Nudibranchs, it dines on anemones -- of which there were few nearby! It was making rapid progress toward the big ledge and its extensive corynactis ranches.
The fields of strawberry anemones are broken occasionally by other inhabitants who have made homes there. Feather duster worms like this one aren't uncommon. Usually these are shy and hard to photograph: they withdraw into their protective tubes at the slightest movement. Its stinging neighbors may have made this one bolder. It looks like a palm tree in a garden of tropical-flavored lifesavers.
I'm always happy to see corynactis, also called strawberry anemones. They form a thick carpet on the big ledge at Refugio right now, after seasons of retreat. They are moving onto the top of the ledge, but the thick growths are in crevices.
Sea pansies bury their bulk in the sand and extend these tentacles up, to grab food as it swims by, I assume. This is just a tiny part of the pansy, which might have 100 or so tentacles over a region the size of the palm of a hand. The buried bulk is a disc, with a sort of indented cusp on one side: it looks a little like a flower. Sometimes surge will wash sand away and the pansy will flop around in the currents. I suppose that they must be colonial animals, sharing one body.