[Coral-List] Bleaching; nudibranch outbreak in Bermuda

Murdoch, Thad tjmurdoch at gov.bm
Tue Aug 2 17:29:38 EDT 2005

The first tentative signs of coral bleaching were observed yesterday and
today out on the northern rim and forereef of Bermuda at depths of 12-45
ft. Roughly 1 out of every 200-300 D. labyrinthiformis appeared either
very pale or partially bleached. One single colony of M. frankesi was
also seen to be partially bleached at one of 15 sites visited. The sea
has been very calm over the past four days, and the sky clear to partly
cloudy over the reef platform.

2 weeks ago members of our team also discovered an outbreak of the
nudibranch Tritonia hamnerorum on sea fans on 16 patch and fore-reef
sites spread over an area of at least 20 sq. km. Densities reaching
several hundred nudibranchs per sea fan are apparent on badly affected
sea fans. On some patch reefs the majority of sea fans already have been
grazed to death. Surveys across the platform to determine the full
extent of the outbreak and its changes through time are on-going. For
photographs see: 

Murdoch, T.J.T., 2005 (Aug 1) Tritonia hamnerorum in Bermuda. [Message
in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Thaddeus J. T. Murdoch
Principal Investigator

BREAM: Bermuda Reef Ecosystem Assessment and Mapping Initiative
Bermuda Biodiversity Programme
Bermuda Zoological Society and Dept. Conservation Services
P.O. Box FL 145, Flatts FL BX, BERMUDA

Tel: 441 293 2727 x144
Fax: 441 293 6451

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