Coloration: Defense strategy

Probably the most fascinating feature of the opisthobranchs is the diversity of body shapes and colors. These range from those that resemble the substrate they live to try to go unnoticed, which is known as crypsis, to those who announce their presence with bright, often conspicuous colors, what is called aposematism.

The colors of the opisthobranchs, as with butterflies, birds and tropical fish, is not due to an aesthetic issue, but a very important biological function: the defense.

There are different defense strategies:




Further reading

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Ballesteros, M., Madrenas, E. & Pontes, M. (2023) "Coloration: Defense strategy" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 25/12/2012. Accessed: 04/03/2024. Available at (

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