The following information concerning Pacifiphyton bollandi is from a recent E-mail from Fred Bavendam:
I shot pictures of this species of octocoral on a number of dives at Tulamben, Bali in the early years of this century. 2000 to 2005? I didn't even know what it was until the year a marine conference was being held in Bali which Terry Goslinger and Gary Williams attended. That was perhaps about 2001 or a year or two later.
On one day both of them were in Tulamben and Gary mentioned that Patrick Colin had found a P. bollandi on a very dive in Bali to a depth of about 180 feet, at somewhere other than Tulamben. And that this was the shallowest depth at which it had ever been seen. I asked Gary to show me what the coral looked like and he showed me a drawing of simple black and white photo. When I saw it I told him that I had seen it in Tulamben and knew where a small group of them were living at a depth of about 130-140 feet. I took Dr. Williams to the place thinking he might collect one or two. He took all four or five that were at that depth, which was the shallowest I have ever seen them.
For a few years afterward, I could regularly find individuals of P. bollandi by diving to about 180 to 190 feet and then swimming along at that depth, roughly parallel to shore, in Tulamben. And took a number of photos of them. At that time I was still shooting film and usually I shot my photos of P. bollandi with a housed Nikon F5 with a 70-180mm Micro-nikkor zoom lens. And perhaps once or twice with Nikon's 24-85mm zoom which has a macro range from 35-85mm which would let me shoot a slightly wider view from closer to the coral.
My feeling, over the years, was that there were fewer and fewer P. bollandi at those depths, perhaps due to a slight warming of the ocean waters at those depths. I haven't gone on a P. bollandi hunt for quite a few years. Maybe I will look for it again when I am in Bali next year. And shoot it with a digital SLR.