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Beautiful Nudibranchs: Colorful Sea Slugs

Cindy has always been fascinated by life in the sea and has had several saltwater aquariums, one a natural reef.

Unidentified Nudibranch 1 - This one reminds me of a dragon.

Unidentified Nudibranch 1 - This one reminds me of a dragon.

Dirona albolinieata at Ogden Point in Victoria BC.

Dirona albolinieata at Ogden Point in Victoria BC.

Of all the creatures in the sea, these are the high fashion models.

— ~David Doubilet, photographer for National Geographic

Colorful nudibranch in shallow water off Whyalla, South Australia

Colorful nudibranch in shallow water off Whyalla, South Australia

I have had several saltwater aquariums over the years, and have always been fascinated with the life forms that can be found in the ocean. I envy those who have traveled to exotic locations and have taken all these fantastic pictures. I never had much luck keeping Nudibranchs (pronounced “noo-dee-branks”), also known as Sea Slugs, in any of my aquariums, but have always admired their exquisite beauty.

Frosted Nudibranch can reach up to 7" long.

Frosted Nudibranch can reach up to 7" long.

Naked Gills

"Nudibranch" is a Latin word that literally means “naked gills”. This name refers to the feathery gills and horns that most nudibranchs have on their backs. Nudibranchs are generally only around one inch in length, but they pack a lot of intricate beauty into a small space.

As you browse through this article, if you would like to see a larger image of the nudibranchs, just click on the picture. In my search for images, I was overwhelmed by all the shapes, sizes, forms, colors, textures and patterns that are exhibited by the nudibranch.

It is something like a flatworm that looks tie-dyed.

— ... a child’s description of the nudibranch that is both apt and amusing

Bonisa nakaza in a Kelp bed on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa

Bonisa nakaza in a Kelp bed on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa

Although there are more than 3000 previously identified nudibranch species throughout the world’s oceans, divers are often able to spot species that have not been previously scientifically identified.

They most often inhabit shallow, tropical waters.

Nudibranch (Pteraeolidia Ianthina) taken in Egypt

Nudibranch (Pteraeolidia Ianthina) taken in Egypt

Nudibranch - Berthella (?)

Nudibranch - Berthella (?)

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