Nudibranch in Lembeh
We have sea slugs galore in Lembeh Strait and to celebrate their incredible diversity we’d like to introduce this week’s featured nudibranch: the Anemone-eating Nudibranch (Baeolidia moebii).
Anemones are predatory animals belonging to the phylum Cnidaria which means they contain stinging cells called nematocysts (same as with hydroids and jellyfish). Does this stinging defence mechanism bother our valiant little slug? No it does not, and in a stunning display of defiant nature this nudibranch will not only munch happily through the defence mechanism but it will swallow those stinging cells for use in its own body. This is nifty little trick is called endosymbiosis, or in less scientific terms, ‘kicking your enemy when he’s down’.
This week’s slug belongs to the Aoelid nudibranchs which typically have wavy, bushy appendages down their backs and long, curly tentacles at the head which are distinct from the rhinophores. These appendages are called cerata which are not only respiratory organs but are also where the stolen stinging cells are stored in the tips.
We’ve found a couple of cool nudibranchs this week that we’re yet to identify, perhaps they’ll make it to our weekly #seaslugsunday posts in the future! We’ve also returned to a favourite dive site to successfully find rhinopias and hairy frogfish. In addition, congratulations to Belen who has completed her Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses with instructor Dan and has an impressive logbook bulging with marine life sightings that will make any experienced diver envious! With a house reef right in front of the dive centre and year-round diving from Two Fish Divers Lembeh, our resort is the perfect place for dive training, beginners and experienced photographers looking to tick off a critter list!
Would you like to join us for diving and spotting nudibranch in Lembeh? For more information about fun diving with us, underwater photography in Lembeh or taking a PADI course in Lembeh, fill in the form below and we will get right back to you!
We look forward to diving Lembeh with you soon.