Photo by Amedeo Altomare
California Sea Hare
The image at left shows a California sea hare (Aplysia californica), a type of sea slug, inking. Looking a little like a rabbit, sea hares are a common treasure in Santa Barbara’s Coal Oil Point tidepools. They can get up to 16 pounds but are usually more like three to four pounds in the lower pools. Although these slugs appear to be just a big blob, they have a hidden trick — beautiful purple ink that can be released from a gland in their mantle cavity if you reach inside the skin flaps on the top and tickle them. In nature, this acts as a smoke screen (similar to an octopus’ ink). California sea hares are herbivorous, with a diet consisting primarily of red and brown seaweed, which gives the animal its typically dark coloration.
(Image credit: Genny Anderson, Santa Barbara City College)
(via: NSF Science 360)
Thuridilla sp. by Samantha Craven
Thuridilla is a genus of sacoglossan sea slugs, shell-less marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusks in the family Plakobranchidae. They are not nudibranchs, but are often confused for them.
Juvenile Common Egg Cowrie (Ovula ovum) by Samantha Craven
The surface of the shell is smooth, shiny and completely snow white, with a dark reddish-purple interior, visible through the wide and long aperture, which bears teeth on one side only. In the living cowries the mantle is black, with a pattern of small white spots in adults, while juveniles resemble some toxic nudibranchs of the genus Phyllidia owing to their orange yellow sensorial papillae. The lateral flaps of the mantle usually hide completely the white surface, but the mantle is quickly retracted into the shell opening when the cowry is disturbed (source)
Narcissistic Nudibranch: Spanish Dancer in love with it’s own reflection.
Melimbe engelis nudibranch.
When our amazing dive guide Mark from Sea Rider pointed at this piece of algae and made the nudibranch sign I swore in bubbles. How on earth was this an animal? Watching it closely I could see it slide across the bottom and eventually I worked out which was head and tail. If you look carefully on the left you can see its oral sac.
An Emperor Shrimp (Periclimenes imperator) on its host nudibranch (Mexichromis multituberculata), Seraya, Bali