A small gastopod extends its brilliantly colored mantle over its shell as it picks its way through a field of cup corals.
This is an extremely rare species; it took over a year, and consulting with several experts, to finally identify it. I have never seen another photo of one, despite exhaustive searches on the internet.
This photo won 1st place honors in the Amatuer Macro division of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Photographic Competition (PCUPC), which is held off the coast of San Diego each August. Contestants are given 1 roll of film and about 18 hours to expose it; divers all work in the same conditions. This shot was taken in surgy, pea-soup water, with less than 5 feet of visibility. With my dive buddy standing on my back (she thought my tank was a rock...).
Lens: 105 mm Micro w/+2 diopter
Film: Kodak E-100 VS
Depth: 65 feet/20 meters
Location: Point Loma, San Diego, CA
©1999 Garry McCarthy