Nudibranchs of the Pacific Northwest, 2013 Calendar Cover
Nudibranchs of the Pacific Northwest, 2013 Calendar Months

Nudibranchs of the Pacific Northwest, A calendar of tiny sea slugs for the year 2013. Photography by Jens Tröger.

Over the past 18 months, I have spent numerous hours of diving to photograph the smallest of nudibranchs in the coastal waters of Washington State and British Columbia. Nudibranchs are sea slugs, marine gastropod mollusks, that can be found all over the world’s oceans. The word “nudibranch” comes from the Latin word “nudus” (naked) and the Greek word “brankhia” (gills), and it refers to the fact that nudibranchs, unlike their mollusk relatives such as snails, clams, and chitons, do not have shells to protect their “naked gills.”

There are around eighty different species of nudibranchs endemic to the Pacific coast from Oregon to Alaska, not counting bubble shells, sea hares, and other nudibranch-like groups. Some of them are larger than 10 inches, and others smaller than a fraction of an inch. These smallest of nudibranchs are the ones that I have taken to, mostly because of their diversity in form and color, and their difficulty to photograph.

This calendar presents a collection of my favorite images of twelve different species of these tiny and beautiful creatures. I have tried to create interesting images that engage, and that present the different specimens up close and personal. All images were taken around the San Juan Islands (with Lu Jac's Quest) and Neah Bay (with the Anacortes Dive Store) in Washington State; and Barkley Sound (with Rendezvous Diving), Egmont (with Porpoise Bay Charters), and Port Hardy (with the Mamro Adventures) in British Columbia.

Of course, this calendar wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my regular dive buddies Marc Chamberlain, Berni Landau, and Tom Heinecke: thank you guys for all the fun we have! I want to thank Andy Lamb, Karin Fletcher, and David Behrens who also helped to identify some of the juvenile specimens, a task which can be a rather difficult endeavor as their typical features have not completely developed yet.

The calendar is printed and delivered through the publishing website Lulu. If you are interested in purchasing this calendar, please click on one of the two following links to review and order:

I will donate a part of the proceeds of this calendar to the Coral Reef Alliance, an international nonprofit organization that works exclusively to unite communities to protect our planet’s coral reefs.

I hope you will enjoy the slugs, and thank you for your support!

Copyright © 2012 by Jens Tröger. Jens Tröger is not directly affiliated with the Coral Reef Alliance or any of its programs, projects, or websites.