Rovinj – 27.8.2023

Since we had such a good time the last time we were in Rovinj, we went scuba diving there again this weekend. We did two dives with one location being a bit further away.

As it was preparing for a storm the next day the sea was not so calm, but overall the conditions were still good. On both dives, we experienced a bit of a current but it was not problematic. I can see the effect in the photos as quite a lot are a bit blurry. It is difficult to take macro photos of 10 mm long slugs and try to be perfectly still with a bit of current dragging you along.

As far as the temperatures go, the sea had about 26°C at the surface so it was quite nice when we went under 20 m and it cooled down a bit. I could easily stay there for a few hours.

Overall I saw quite a lot and had a nice day.

The pictures

There was a lot of life at both locations. Scorpion fish are a common sight and you can see quite large examples. In the first picture is a red scorpionfish (Scorpaena scrofa). And this time I also decided to take pictures of a few smaller fish that I always see. The triplefin (Tripterygion tripteronotum) in the picture was the most patient with me.

Scorpaena scrofa Tripterygion tripteronotum

Next up is a close-up of the European spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas). And a picture of three shrimps (Brachycarpus biunguiculatus) from a bit further away as they were hiding in a hole. When taking the picture I only saw one. In the front of the shrimps, you can see young damselfish (Chromis chromis) in blue. When young they have a really nice iridescent blue color that then turns to dark brown, almost black, as they mature.

Palinurus elephas Brachycarpus biunguiculatus

I saw quite a lot of sea slugs which I am always happy to see. There are so many variations in shape and color. In the summer, it is quite difficult to see them in shallow waters. As far as my quick research goes it seems to be due to the high temperatures of the sea.

I will start with two nudibranch pictures of Flabellina ischitana. In the second one, there were three feeding on one branch. I see a group of them like this quite often.

Flabellina ischitana Flabellina ischitana

Next up is an example of a large Thuridilla hopei. I normally see them at about 10 mm in length and this one was at least double that, so about 20 mm. They do grow slightly larger but it is uncommon to see them.

Thuridilla hopei

This picture is interesting not only for the main subject, which is an example of a yellow Felimare picta. Can you spot the intruder?

Felimare picta

Quite well blended in you can see a sea slug with orange-colored papillae near the left edge, slightly above the middle. I got a bit of help identifying it and it should be a Diaphorodoris papillata. They are quite small, up to 10 mm and the one in the picture was less than that.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see it when taking pictures, otherwise, I would definitely try to take a few.

And lastly, one that I saw for the first time, is a Caloria elegans. They grow to about 20 mm and this one was around 10 mm in length.

Caloria elegans Caloria elegans Caloria elegans Caloria elegans


I am sometimes still quite amazed when I spot the tiniest of creatures from a distance. For example, I spotted the Caloria elegans above from about 3 m away. And sometimes I can’t see something large that is practically in front of me.

Overall I saw a lot of life again, quite a lot not mentioned here. We are already making plans for the next scuba diving trip in Rovinj.