The sea slugs of Barcelona

Algunas babosas marinas de las costas de la ciudad de Barcelona

The article “Sea slugs (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Heterobranchia): the other Inhabitants of the city of Barcelona (Spain)” written by Alex Parera, Miquel Pontes, Xavier Salvador and Manuel Ballesteros has been published in number 84 of the Catalan Institute of Natural History Bulletin (BICHN),  in which an inventory of the species of these interesting molluscs is made along the coastal front of the city of Barcelona. This work has been carried out…

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Not all nudibranchs are carnivores

El nudibranquio Polycerella emertoni. Foto de Manuel Ballesteros

In July 2020, an interesting article (Camps-Castellà et al., 2020) was published in the prestigious journal Marine Ecology Progress Series (MEPS), which, under an apparently trivial title, announces a paradigm shift: “Not all nudibranchs are carnivores“. Nudibranchs (Mollusca, Nudibranchia) have traditionally been considered one of the most highly specialized groups of predators (Megina & Cervera 2003) and, in fact, they are classified into four groups based on their diet: sponge…

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Farewell, Lenka

Lenka Juskaničová

It is not very often that you find people with whom you share the same hobbies but, luckily, from time to time it happens, and in these cases a very special personal connection is established. We become part of their world, and they become part of ours. Lenka Juskaničová was one of these people. Over the years many of us have shared several hobbies with her: scuba diving, underwater photography,…

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Curiosities about nudibranchs

Elysia timida by Miquel Pontes

Did you know…?   The word “nudibranch” means “naked gills”. Derives from the Latin “nudus” (naked) and the Greek “brankhia” (gills). It refers to the small flower shaped protuberances that can be seen on the back of many of these animals. There are more than 3,000 species of nudibranchs. They live from the surface to depths of 2,500 meters. They are found in all seas, from the tropics to the…

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How to differentiate the pink “flabellina”

Flabellina affinis by Miquel Pontes

Any diver with a certain experience searching for opisthobranchs in the Mediterranean Sea or NE Atlantic could tell you that, sometimes, it is pretty difficult to tell apart which species of pink “flabellina” you are looking at. It’s not really that difficult, as long as you know what to look at in order to differentiate them. Here we include the main traits of the most common species: Flabellina affinis has the following characteristics:…

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How to distinguish the blue Felimare

Felimare tricolor by Enric Madrenas

Any diver with a certain experience searching for opisthobranchs in the Mediterranean or Eastern Atlantic could tell you that, sometimes, it is pretty difficult to tell apart which species of blue Felimare nudibranch you are looking at. The new genus Felimare recently replaced the classic denomination Hypselodoris that is found in most printed books. Felimare opisthobranchs of the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean were revised by Ortea et al in 1996. Still…

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Tylodina perversa, a sheep disguised as a wolf

Tylodina perversa @ Islas Canarias by Aketza Herrero

Tylodina perversa is an opisthobranch species quite common in the Costa Brava (NE Spain), especially on sponges Aplysina (Verongia) aerophoba that are found in very shallow water. Although it has been always considered carnivorous -it is always found feeding on the same type of sponges-, a more detailed study put this fact in jeopardy. Every indication shows that the opisthobranch consistently prefers the sponges with a greater ammount of cyanophyte…

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