Angels of the Sea

Sometimes the things you discover in the sea are so beautiful it leaves you completely dumbfounded. The delicate and illusive sea angels certainly fall into that category.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009

I have added several images of the sea angel Clione limacina to the database. The images where captured in Kristiansand, Norway, on a dive trip with Nortech Diving.

The sea angels lives pelagically from the surface to 350 meters depth in both arctic and antarctic waters.

The sea angels are creatures of exquisite beauty - but they are also ferocious carnivores feeding exclusively on sea butterfries of the genus Limacina.

Sometimes this little opistobranch sea slug occurs in such great aggregations that it makes suitable meals for baleen whales.

» Click here to read about Clione limacina at Seaslugforum

This is reflected in the norwegian name "hvalåte", meaning "whale food". Clione limacina was first described in 1676 by Martens.

Photographing sea angels

Getting good images of the sea angels can be a challenge. They are usually found them in the winter and spring in mid-water at around 4-5 meters depth, and it's hard to keep still trying to frame them.

They are no bigger than an inch, and a 60 mm macro lens is a good choice as you want to get really close to capture a sharp image without too much water in between.

A greater focal length (like a 105 mm macro) also makes it a lot harder to find the sea angel in the viewfinder.

The top image was selected as an honourable mention in the Nature's Best Windland Rice Smith International Awards, and was exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

» Click here to read the report from the Smithsonian exhibition

The image also came in third in the picture of the week #283 competition at Wetpixel and won a gold medal in the Nordic Championships in 2009.

Get this story for your magazine!

This 900 word short story comes complete with beautiful images, and is perfect when you have a couple of pages to spare and want to share something special with your readers. Interested? Please get in touch!

» Please click here to enquire about the Angels of the Sea story

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Christian Skauge
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N-0660 Oslo, Norway


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