Nudibranchs of Pohnpei, Caroline Islands,
Federated States of Micronesia

Pohnpei is a few hundred miles west of the Marshall Islands. It is a high island surrounded (mostly) by a barrier reef enclosing a lagoon filled with shallow coral reefs and small islands. The lagoon tends to be a bit turbid from run-off from the high island, so much of the diving takes place in passes in the barrier reef, where clear ocean water flows in and out with the changing of the tides. Diving here makes an interesting change from the low atoll islands in the Marshalls, and it is not too far away, so we've made a number of trips down there to seek and photograph slugs we don't find in the Marshalls. This is by no means an exhaustive treatment of Pohnpei nudibranchs; we have only scratched the surface of what is there. Likewise, it is hard to say too much about the biology and distribution of species from a half dozen or so week-long trips. (Anyone else find it odd how some researchers can make sweeping statements and come to such definitive conclusions from a 2-week environmental survey? Heck, I can't be as certain as others seem to be in some of the reports I've seen even after more than 20 years in the Marshalls!)

All our diving in Pohnpei has been through The Village Hotel, a great place to stay in general but also with its own dive shop that employs some eagle-eyed nudibranch-aware dive guides. Just down the hill from the Village, they keep up a small boat landing with several long powerboats used for dive trips and other excursions. And yes, there are many other fascinating photo subjects in the Pohnpei marine environment--manta rays, sharks, eagle rays, schools of barracuda or ulua, angelfish, anemones and clownfish, shrimp gobies, gorgeous soft corals, colorful flatworms, and on and on--but we'll leave most of those for another time and place.

The Village also offers boat trips to the ancient ruins of Nan Madol and to a refreshing waterfall.

After a day on the water, you can sit back in the gazebo with a tall cold one and watch the scenery, waiting for another run-of-the-mill tropical sunset.

Pohnpei slug list with thumbnails
Pohnpei slug list without thumbnails

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