Nudibranch

Okenia elegans

About

Nudibranchs, also referred to as sea slugs along with other, non-related marine invertebrates, are soft-bodied marine molluscs that lack shells. There are more than 3,000 known species of nudibranch across the world with more being discovered regularly. In UK waters they are generally found in rocky coastal areas where they feed on algae, shellfish, anemones and other nudibranchs. Some species are able to incorporate the stinging cells from their prey into their own bodies, providing protection from fish and other would-be predators.

How to identify

Nudibranchs come in many colours and forms, often with two horn-like tentacles or feathery gills.

Where to find it

Widespread around the UK's coastal waters.

Habitats

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Our seas and coastline are in need of protection if we are to keep our marine wildlife healthy. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Nudibranch
Latin name
Okenia elegans
Category
Squids and octopuses
Statistics
Length: Species vary in size from a few millimetres to several centimetres in length. The largest British species has been recorded at 20cm.
Conservation status
Common