An opalescent visitor

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Hermissenda 1

We’re not sure how it arrived in the Floating lab, but several students have observed a beautiful nudibranch called the opalescent sea slug (Hermissenda crassicornis) crawling around in our seawater table.

Thanks to Maya and Zoli for the photos!

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2 Responses to “An opalescent visitor”

  1. Erickson Smith Says:

    This is the species that made me fall in love with nudibranchs! It was in the sea water table in my first weeks at Pearson. I actually think there were two, and one cannibalized the other :O

    SUCH a cool species! They store cnematocysts on their back, right? Any idea what their diet is? I seem to remember they are generalists, but I wonder if they get their cnematocysts from jellies or anemones.

    • pearsoncollegemarinescience Says:

      Thanks for your endless nudibranch enthusiasm Erickson! I think they mostly eat hydroids and yes, they do store nematocysts in their cerata. You are right about Hermissenda being generalist predators though – they will also eat bryozoans, colonial sea squirts, small anemones and small crustaceans. And they are crafty cannibalizers!
      Thanks for still keeping up with the happenings of Pedder Bay!

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