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: The…

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How to distinguish the blue Felimare [Hypselodoris]

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 [Hypselodoris] opisthobranchs of the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean were revised by Ortea et al in…

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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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