365Indonesia Day 42 - Nudibranch in the Water of Biawak Island, Indramayu
A while ago I had the chance to go to a beautiful island named Pulau Biawak or Biawak Island. It is located 40 km north of the city of Indramayu, West Java, Indonesia. According to the locals, the island was originally named Rakit Island. The Dutch called it Bompyes. But around the year 1980s, it was changed again to Biawak Island for conservation and tourism purpose by the local government. And it was because the island itself is the habitat of a species of monitor lizards (Varanus Salvator) called Biawak by the locals. to get to Biawak Island you need about four hours from Indramayu City. And the way to travel there is only by small fisherman’s boat. You could hire them, usually visitors had to spend around $70 USD to $90 USD for a fishing boat with a capacity of about ten people. So if you share the expenses with 10 persons, you only need to pay around $10 USD just for the boats. No docks can be reach by visitors at high tide and there are no special vacation homes that can be rented by tourists, only caretaker’s house, the lighthouse, and some modest hut. It would be best to take a tent with you just in case you need to spend the night with some Biawak. The water is greenish clear, white sand, and the reefs are still “virgin” and colorful, with so many species of fishes. There are also many kinds of birds that came and go to the island, including The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus Ibis), The Great Billed heron (Ardea Sumatrana), and Cerulean Kingfisher (Alcedo coerulescens). The Island is also a haven for hundreds of species of marine life with the beautiful shapes and colors. The visibility is about 3-4 meters, and if you try scuba diving into the deeper reef you could find so many types of fishes, including Yellowtail butterflyfish (Chaetodon xanthurus), Zebra lionfish (Dendrochirus zebra), Clown fish, small Barracudas, and a type of Moray eel (probably Gymnothorax punctatus) inside, lying in between the reefs waiting for small fish to prey. it's also a perfect place to spot this beautiful creature, nudibranch. A nudibranch is a member of what is now a taxonomic clade, and what was previously a suborder, of soft-bodied, marine gastropod mollusks which shed their shell after their larval stage. They are noted for their often extraordinary colors and striking forms. The clade Nudibranchia is the largest clade within the heterobranchs, with more than 3,000 described species. The word "nudibranch" comes from the Latin nudus, naked, and the Greek brankhia, gills. Nudibranchs are often casually called "sea slug", but many sea slugs belong to several taxonomic groups which are not related to nudibranchs. A number of these other sea slugs (such as the colorful Aglajidae) are often confused with nudibranchs. Regards, Mad. check out my travel blog madalkatiri for more amazing pictures and follow @madalkatiri!