Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tuesday nudi

Most of the nudis I've featured so far have been from the indopacific for the simple reason thats where they're easiest to find. The carribean has fewer species and this is I'm happy to say the first I found since relocating and what a nudi it is. Found snorkelling in 2 1/2 feet of water this is Elysia crispata


Its special for a number of reasons. Firstly it looks amazing with this strange back that earns it the name lettuce leaf nudi. Secondly it is home to a host of photosynthetic algal cells making it one of the very few mobile photosynthetic animals in the world. Thirdly as it eats algae as opposed to the more specialist diets of most species it is a) very widespread and b) one of only two or three nudis that can be kept and even bred in aquaria. Its just a very cool slug.

Detail of the flank patterning.

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