Not your usual thumb size nudies, the Spanish Dancer can grow up to 40 centimetres long and has some pretty fascinating traits that make it one of the most exotic and exciting critters to spot while diving our house reef!
Now take that image of a 40 centimetre nudi and image it swimming. With the ability to swim by undulating its body like no other species of nudi can, the Spanish Dancer is really in a field of its own. Although the performance is more akin to ‘The Worm’ , the undulating motion is also similar to that of the swirls of a flamenco dancers skirt, hence the latter name. However, we prefer The Worm.
A beautiful display of colours and motion but not stemming from the fiery passion flamenco dancers are known for. The Spanish Dancer does not swim or dance for fun. They will only unfurl their skirt and chooses to swim when feeling threatened or stress.
So if you’re observing a spanish dancer resting on a reef and it suddenly springs into a dance, take a few steps back and give the lady some space.
Image source: www.oceana.org