A Journal, with Pictures


by on May.01, 2010, under Underwater

Nudi­branchs are col­or­ful crea­tures, that fun­da­men­tal­ly are sea slugs that do not have shells. The name comes from the Latin “naked gills”, since their gills are exter­nal. They have very prim­i­tive eyes, quar­ter mil­lime­ter in diam­e­ter, in their body with five pho­to recep­tors each. They have horns called rhinophores to detect odors. They are car­niv­o­rous, eat­ing sponges, jel­ly fish, bar­na­cles, etc, as well as oth­er nudi­branchs. There are around 3000 species and range in size from .75 inch­es to 24 inch­es, and come in many col­ors and shapes. Their pro­tec­tion comes from ingest­ing sting­ing or bad tast­ing cells from oth­er crea­tures, and adver­tise this with bright col­oration. There are some very inter­est­ing sub-species, such as the solar pow­ered nudi­branch that ingests sponges then receives nutri­ents from pho­to­syn­the­sis. Anoth­er vari­ety that we call the “vac­u­um clean­er” nudi­brach has an inter­est­ing feed­ing mech­a­nism. Nudi­branchs lay eggs, as seen in the case of the orange poka dot spec­i­men below. These images were cap­tured in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent loca­tions around the world, as the nudi­branch is found in most oceans.

“Vac­u­um clean­er” nudi­branch feed­ing sequence.

Solar Pow­ered Nudibranch

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