Hypselodoris Portrait

It isn’t too often that a nudibranch is this cooperative, but this series of photos shows how when I first spotted (pun intended!) this nudibranch, it was just crawling along the sea floor. However, as I got closer, it decided to sit up nice a pretty for a perfect portrait.

What is much more common is the difficulty in properly identifying a nudibranch, and this one is no different. Though I am certain it is in the Hypselodoris family, I am not sure if this is H. roo, H. infucata, or H. confetti.

I’ve shared a photo from this nudibranch previously, and another thing to note is how intricate the rhinophores (the horns on its head) are. Rhinophores are a nudibranch’s primary sensory organ, basically “tasting” the water similar to how we would smell things – and the many layers increases the surface area to make them more sensitive… Additionally, having two like that lets them determine if a scent it picks up is stronger on the left or right to allow it to the know which direction it is coming from.

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