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Diver Name

Megumi Itoh

Occupation: Social Media Coordinator / Instructor / Illustrator
Location: Temple City, CA
Hometown: Temple City, CA

I started taking pictures as a way to remember what I saw during the dives. Since then, my obsession with the nudibranchs and other small marine animals led me to specializing in underwater macro photography.

Finally, a picture of Spanish Shawl Eggs

February 25, 2019

I finally got a picture of a Spanish Shawl laying eggs. It was perched at the tip of a hydroid and swaying to and fro in the surge as usual...

Too bad the Spanish shawl is cropped off, but it was swaying back and forth so much I was happy just to get a clear shot of the nudibranch and the eggs.

Too bad the Spanish shawl is cropped off, but it was swaying back and forth so much I was happy just to get a clear shot of the nudibranch and the eggs.

  • Same Spanish shawl, but I like the purple outline around the base of the cerata in this image.

Pictures from Solomon Islands Dive Expedition

February 15, 2019

My latest overseas dive trip was in the Solomon Islands. The water was very warm - mostly 84F - and the diving was amazing. I saw Pygmy seahorse for the first time and learned to identyfy more fish. After a 10-day dive trip in the Solomons, I went right back to dive at Anacapa (thank goodness for my drysuit) and saw an onespot fringehead. So many people say there is nothing to see when you dive in California, but that is so untrue. Most of the pictures here are from Califiornia dives. We may not have coral reef with colorful fish, but we have some brightly colored creatures.

Chromodoris Annae

Chromodoris Annae

  • Funeral dorid
  • Hypselodoris bullocki
  • OK... this is not a nudibranch, but I saw this persian rug flatworm for the first time.
  • Chromodoris Koi
  • I think this is THE TINIEST nudibranch I have seen. Probably less than 1cm long. I don't know how I spotted it.
  • Fine. This is also not a nudibranch, but it's still a mollusk!

Megumi's Underwater Photographs

January 6, 2014

Many people are surprised to see that there are so much color in the local California waters. We have some of the most flamboyant creatures around like the brightly colored Spanish Shawl!

  • Flabellinopsis Iodinea (Spanish Shawl)
at Santa Rosa Island
Yes, they are one of the most commonly seen nudibranch in So Cal, but they are so stunning!
  • Flabellinopsis Iodinea (Spanish Shawl)
at Farnsworth Bank
  • Simnia at Santa Cruz Island (9-14-14)
Look for them when you see red gorgonians!
  • another shot of the Yellowfin (or Orange) Fringehead
I saw an orange blob when I swam over a reef rock and knew I had to stop and look at it more carefully.
  • Who says barnacles are not pretty?
  • Blue ringed topsnail - looks like enamel jewelry
  • Chestnut cowry
  • Crevice kelpfish
  • Hermissenda opalescens another relatively common nudibranch, but very pretty
  • Austraeolis stearnsi
  • Live sand dollars on the sea floor
  • Okenia rosacea (Hopkin's rose) from Anacapa Island 7/11/15
  • Peltodoris Mullineri (Mulliner's dorid) at Santa Cruz Island 9/30/16
  • Zebra Goby - they are so skittish it's hard to take a good picture of them
  • Felimare californiensis var. A (California blue dorid ) with eggs from Santa Cruz Island 9/30/16
  • Jorunna pardus (leopard dorid) from Gull Island 5/12/18
  • Navanax inermis from Gull Island 5/12/18
  • Polycera tricolor (three colored nudibranch) from Gull Island 5/12/18
First time I've ever seen this one.
  • Teeny weeny Tritonia festiva (diamond back nudibranch). I was looking for simnia and found this little baby nudi instead
  • Berthella californica (California sidegill) from Santa Barbara Island 8/25-26/18
Not very flashy, but very elegant sea slug
  • Orange throated pike blenny - We made it to the Pelican Reserve on Nov 3, 2018 on the Explorer. I searched all over without luck. I led my group back to the boat and then decided to go down to the reef just under the boat for one last look. I was about to give up when I spotted this little guy poking his head out.
  • Hilton's aeolid (Phidiana hiltoni) is another one of those nudibranchs you sometimes see in the northern Channel Islands. Funny thing is, a lot of the times you don't see them at all, but other times they are all over the place!