Mar 26, 2009: Yellow Sea Slug

Tideflat Critters

The other day the oyster farm was crawling with Monterey dorids. montereydorid3 Nudibranchs (pronounced nudi-branks), or sea slugs,  are gastropod molluscs and come in a crazy variety of shapes and colors. (The Monterey dorid is a rather tame looking sea slug, check out this page for photos of other Puget Sound nudibranchs). Monterey dorids resemble another Puget Sound nudibranch, the Peltodoris nobilis, but according to this helpful site, Montereys have yellow gills and the Peltodoris has white gills. We've found both referred to as "sea lemons," which seems like a generic term for a yellow nudibranch. We also found one site that claimed the slugs actually smell like lemons... which seems a little far fetched. But next time we run across a nudibranch we'll give it the sniff test. Below, the nudibranch under water. Notice the two rhinophores (scent receptors) on the top end and (look closely!) yellow gills coming out the bottom end. montereydorid

Sea slug all curled up. montereydorid2 Nudibranchs are carnivores, and eat things like tunicates, anenomes, and sponges. Like moon snails, they eat using a radula.

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