Sea Slugs (Tethydidae)
Nudibranchs and Melibe Sea Slug
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Also known as Nudibranchs and Melibe Sea Slug.
Found singly or in pairs on coral and rocky reefs amongst sand and rubble areas.
They feed on hydroids, coral, sponges and anemones and crustaceans.
Length - 30cm
Depth - 5-20m
Widespread Western Indo-Pacific
Melibe have developed an oral veil or 'fish net' which they use to scan the ground with. Constantly on the move, looking for victims, when found the veil contracts, trapping their prey.
Opisthobranchia - Nudibranchs - Sea Slugs meaning "naked gills" are molluscs without a hard shell.
All opisthobranchs are hermaphrodites.
These beautiful slugs are usually brilliantly coloured and this in itself can act as a deterrent against predators. Some sea slugs secrete acid from stinging cells in their tentacles while others secrete acid from cells in their mantle.
Nudibranchs are slow moving, can swim or be propelled along either by muscular contraction or by millions of tiny hairs on the bottom of a fleshy 'foot', they have a voracious appetite and feed with a rasp like tongue.
Nudibranch lay their eggs in a ribbon effect on the sand, in different colours depending on species.
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