Dorid Nudibranch

© Johan Boshoff

Name

Nudibranch – Typical Dorid (Doridina)

Alias

Sea slug

Size

Typical dorid nudibranchs measure 7 cm on average but can be up to 50 cm long.

Identification

Nudibranchs have snail-like bodies and no shells, with a large foot and smooth mantle. Its two rhinophores, or sensory organs, are located at the front of its head, and its branchial, or gills, are prominent on the back. It varies in colour from white to yellow, orange, blue and black.

General Information

The typical dorid nudibranch is a part of the doridina suborder, which falls under Opisthobranchia. Its gills surround the anus and can be different in colour to the mantle. Certain species can retract their branchial into a pouch when threatened. They are hermaphrodites, and their reproductive organs located at the right side of their necks for the sperm pocket to be carried over. Nudibranchs lay their eggs in a mucous matrix, or spawn ribbons.

Diet

Nudibranchs feed on sponges, soft corals, anemones and hydroids.

Distribution

They can be found in all temperate and tropical oceans across the world.

Common Species

Gem sea slug (Chromodoris geminus)
Dorid sp (Nembrotha purpureolineata)
Spanish dancer (Hexabranchus sanguineus)