Nudibranchs Overview
• Nudibranch, meaning naked gills
• More than 3000 species
• Range in size from less than 1 mm to 60 cm
• Range in colour, can be extremely colourful to camouflaged and dull
• Only a few can swim, slow moving usually
• Shed their shells after their larval stage
• Consume food with their foot, which is used for most other bodily functions as well
• In reproduction most nudibranch are hermaphrodites, increasing mating opportunities
• Nudibranchs are carnivorous e.g. barnacles. Sponges, anenomes, sea slugs, eggs, some are cannabalistic
• Some ingest posionous anemones to use the poison as a defense for themselves
• Very few predators, turtles, crabs, humans, other nudibranchs
• Coastal areas in Chile, Alaska & Russia boil and eat nudibranchs, but is an acquired texture and taste
•.Can live for a few weeks to a year
Fall into two main groups
1.Dorid nudibranchs

 See more about Dorid Nudibranchs 

Dorid Nudibranchs

Nudibranch being sandblasted



2.Aeolid nudibranchs
Aeolid Nudibranch
Main difference is the body parts used to breath

Rhinopores: comes from the greek words 'rhino' meaning nose and 'phore' meaning carrier. These are smell and scent receptors that helps find them food. Generally the greater the surface area the better the receptors work. Most are able to withdraw these into the body for protection against predators. 


 Other sea slug species include





Lamellaria australis

Lamellaria australis

 Photo by Paul Sorensen

Lamellaria australis


Platyhelminthes (Or Flatworms)









Rudman, W.B., 1999 (March 25) Rhinophore in nudibranchs. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from



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