Category Archives: Puerto Galera Marine Life

The Nudibranchs of Puerto Galera – Video

nudibranchs puerto galera philippine scandi divers resort

If you spent hours in your garden looking through the flora for tiny little slugs, then your neighbor would probably be concerned for your welfare and call out the local psychiatrist recommending an emergency check-up. Yet scuba divers in their thousands spend hours searching through the corals looking for the underwater version of these creepy crawlies.

With Puerto Galera located in the Coral triangle and the Verde Island passage, it has more nudibranchs than you can shake a stick at. There are reason’s why the Godfather of the nudibranch world Dr Terry Gosliner has made numerous trips here. The Verde Island Passage has over a thousand named nudibranch species, when you consider the Caribbean has less than a thousand reef fish species the abundance is clear to see. The word nudibranch comes from Latin and ancient Greek words naked and gills which comes out of Google translate as nudibranch.

So, what’s the attraction of nudibranchs?

For a start the patterns and colors are so vibrant that they make great subjects for underwater photography. As slow movers, the chance to get a great image is high. They come in all shapes and sizes, one of the smallest and most famous is the Costasiella kuroshimae, affectionately know as Shaun the sheep, it’s sometimes smaller than a grain of rice but can be seen with the aid of a macro lens or magnifying glass.



At the other end of the spectrum we have giant nudibranch like the Hexabranchus sanguineus or Spanish dancer, these guys can be seen at night and are a fiery red color. They can grow up to ninety centimeters in length and bust impressive dance moves that would have made Michael Jackson jealous.

There are great opportunities to observe nudibranch behavior on our reefs. The Chamberlin nembrotha seem as sexually active as mandarin fish. You can see a mating pairs curled up together, being hermaphrodites they both pass sperm into each other for about ten minutes before breaking apart. The Chromodoris reticulata has the added skill of a disposable penis which is ideal if his partner starts to nag him to death about the washing up.

Nudibranch eggs can be found on the reef, look out for swirls of tiny egg. Some are more ribbon type which can be white or pinkish in color. To deter predators the eggs are covered by a slime from consumed sea sponges that are toxic.

There are a few species that eat their own kind, this is a pretty gruesome death as some have teeth inside which shred the poor victim making it easier to digest. So there is some information on the attraction of nudibranchs, we hope after reading this you will become a sea slug enthusiast.

You can watch our latest video on nudibranchs to give you just a sample of these amazing creatures. Come and join us at Scandi divers resort to see some with your own eyes.

Scandi joins the Blackwater Revolution

blackwater diving puerto galera scandi divers resort

A new craze has ripped through the scuba diving world. Blackwater diving has grown dramatically becoming a new and exciting way to see many new species and also to see fish in their early larval stages.

We were lucky to have the professional guidance of Jerome Kim to help us with our blackwater education. Jerome has already taken hundreds of world class blackwater images from locations around the world so were in very capable hands.

As we prepared the line our guides became wide eyed at the thought of hanging out in the Verde Island passage with two hundred meters of water below during the night. We measured out twenty meters of rope, fixed 5000 lumens of lights at the end of the line with some lead weights.Smaller lights were attached at five-meter sections of the rope, gallon containers were attached with plenty of knots to make sure our equipment didn’t drop to the ocean floor.

As the sun started to drop Jerome briefed our team, we would be a mile away from shore before dropping the line with all the lights switched on. Its important to leave it down for a while as the lights attract all the weird and wonderful creatures that live in the open water.

blackwater diving scandi divers resort philippines

With darkness descending we kitted up and pushed thoughts of sharks and barracuda to the back of our mind. You question your sanity a little bit as you see the lights of Big La Laguna way off in the distance. Looking out into the black water the dive lights were giving off a tremendous glow, we back rolled into the water and descended down into the abyss.

It’s a strange feeling at first, you feel yourself holding the line tightly, staying next to the safety of the glowing lights. After a while you get comfortable, weird little creatures float into your view, things you have never seen before that blow your imagination to pieces. Before you know it all those pre-dive scary thoughts disappear and you finally let go of the line and follow these creatures in the dark waters.

The plankton population was picking up due to the effect of the lights, our light beam focused on a small creature that was about the size of a small pea, as it come closer to us you could see its beautiful round blue eyes that were reflecting in the light. It landed on top of my hand, after a while its legs unfolded and crawled along. After doing some research we figured out it was a larval stage zoea crab.

As the water became darker it felt like being in space, little aliens were all around you, amazing jelly fish with little flashing lights resembling a UFO drifting through the galaxy. The amazing finds continued with a larval scorpion fish about half an inch in size. One of the most common sights was what looked like tiny transparent manta rays that are called sea butterflies, these would swim by flapping their wings, the beauty of these creatures really was something else.

Atlanta Peroni

The dive was a great success, we were happy to see so many exciting critters. Jerome took so many images. One of his favorite images was of a beautiful mollusk called an Atlanta Peroni which you can see on this post.

If you would like to try black water diving then speak to the dive team on your next visit to Scandi divers.

Life is too short not to try out new things, they say that scuba diving is the nearest thing to being in space, add the blackwater effect to that and you are one step closer to the moon!

Creature Feature: The Octopus

octopus creature feature scandi divers resort puerto galera

Octopuses inhabit diverse regions of the ocean, including coral reefs & the ocean floor. They have numerous strategies for defending themselves against predators, including the expulsion of ink & camouflage, their ability to jet quickly through the water, and their ability to hide. They trail their eight arms behind them as they swim. All octopuses are venomous, but only one group, the blue-ringed octopus, is known to be deadly to humans!

There are many varieties of Octopus in the waters of Puerto Galera, so keep your eyes peeled and see if you can spot one!

Photo credit to Roni from Planet Hero

Puerto Galera Dive Site Photos from ‘Captain Kirk’

Our thanks to Captain Kirk for these great photos he took while diving with us at Scandi Divers, and for the lovely compliments he gave to our dive team 🙂

“Thanks to Scandi Divers and their team, diving in and around Sabang just keeps getting better!!
Some of the most diverse diving ,in just a few days!!!

My first Pygmy Seahorse, a Mimic Octopus, Lion fish, Murray Eel, Frog fish… And some very territorial Clown fish ????

I couldn’t even name all the Nudibranchs we saw! But thanks to Conan, Edz , Rose and Rommel for helping me ID everything There are a few more unidentified ones here too… “

Click on images to enlarge