Nudibranchs named after Gulen Dive Resort and friends

Nudibranchs named after Gulen Dive Resort and friends

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Owners of Gulen Dive Resort and the editor of Norwegian Dive Magazine Dykking each get a nudibranch species named after them

The nudibranch Fjordia chriskaugei, Gulen Dive Resort, Norway

Over the years, new species have been found and existing species have been moved to other genera while other species are new. Thus, our colleague Christian Skauge writes that the Flabellina family has now gone "extinct" in Norway because the species therein have now been reclassified and put into other genera.

He even got one species named after himself, Fjordia chriskaugei, while the two owners of the resort, Ørjan Sandnes and Monica Bakkeli, each got a species named after them too: Gulenia orjani and Gulenia monicae. While one of the new genera, Gulenia, is obviously named after the dive center, the other, Fjordia, is named after the Norwegian fjords.

Breaking up families

DNA analysis of Flabellinidae, a large family of commonly occurring nudibranchs, showed it is more complex than suspected in earlier works and called for a revision and reclassification of one of the largest subgroups of nudibranchs, the Aeolidace.

Among other findings, it was discovered out that Flabellina lineata was really no less than four different species: Fjordia lineata, Fjordia chriskaugei, Gulenia monicae and Gulenia orjani. The species which was first described by Lovén in 1846 has been moved to a new family and is now classified as Fjordia lineata. Fjordia lineata can be found throughout the British Isles, and can also be found south as far as the Mediterranean Sea and north to Norway.

Gulenia monicae and G. orjani are easily confused with the similar F. lineata and F. chriskaugei, but the width of the white lines running along the back and the sides of the body are significantly wider.

Arial view of Gulen

Nudibranch safari

The house reef at Gulen Dive Resort probably has the highest documented nudibranch species count anywhere in the Atlantic Ocean, writes Skauge: "Norway is home to just over a hundred nudibranch species. With 82 documented species, we have found approximately two-thirds of them. Overall, we have been able to identify 13 species new to Norway at the Nudibranch Safari—four of them new to science."