The following species have been observed thus far in surveys of Fishing Bay and Indian Island.


Brown Warty Dorid 
(Acanthodoris brunnea)

     Look for:  Small, rounded oval body
                          Reddish brown 
                           Firm, non-gelatnous body (like a warty
                          Foot like a snail
                          Short rounded papillae ("warts")
                          Can smell vaguely like cedar
                          Small: No more than 1 inch long
     Diet: Grazes on bryozoans
     Abundance:  Scarce

San Diego Dorid 
(Diaulula sandiegensis)

     Look for:  Rounded oval light tan-brown body
                           Irregular darker-ringed blotches
                           Finely-divided, feathery white 
                                  branchial (gill) plumes
                           Lays ribbons of beige eggs on rocks
                           Medium: Up to 3 inches long
     Diet: Grazes on sponges
     Abundance:  Scarce

Monterey Dorid 
(Doris montereyensis)

     Look for:  Rounded oval yellow body
                          Short, rounded papillae ("warts")
                          Random pattern of black dots
                          Lays ribbons of yellow eggs on rocks
                          Large: Many are 4 to 6  inches long
     Diet: Grazes on sponges
     Abundance:  Common

Sea Lemon 
(Peltodoris nobilis)

     Look for:  Rounded oval yellow to orange body
                        Dark spots between tubercules
                        Lays ribbons of yellow eggs on rocks
                        Large: to 8  inches long
                        Two antenna-like rhinophores at anterior end
                        A circular, many-branched clusters of gills 
                            emerge on the
posterior end
     Diet:          Grazes on sponges
     Abundance:  Common

Which Lemon?:The Monterey dorid can be distinguished from the sea lemon by its pigmentation.  The Monterey has black pigment in the dorsal tubercles (or bumps) giving it a more spotted appearance, while the sea lemon has pigmentation between the tubercles in a more splotchy pattern.  Splotches vs. dots.  The Monterey also has uniformly yellow gills, as opposed to white-tipped gills.  Finally, the dorsal tubercles of the Monterey are more slender and pointed than those of Peltodoris nobilis.

Yellow Margin Dorid
(also known as Yellow-Lined Cadlina)
(Cadlina luteomarginata)

     Look for:  White body with yellow margin
                          Large low tubercles which may be tipped
                                 with yellow
                        Found on rocks and sponges
                        Small: To 1-3/4 inch long
     Diet: Grazes on a wide variety of  sponges
     Abundance:  Scarce

Nanaimo Dorid
(Acanthodoris nanaimoensis)

     Look for:  Background color of translucent white to 
                          Milky yellow border to the mantle
                          Gills and rhinophores tipped with color: 
                            orange-brown to dark maroon
                          Found in low intertidal to 10 m
                          Small: to 1-3/4 inch long
                          Lays white to cream-colored eggs in
 ribbons on rocks.
     Diet:  Grazes on compound ascidians and bryozoans
     Abundance:  Scarce
     Similar Species: The Nanaimo dorid can be distinguished 
                                           from the yellow margin dorid by the presence
                                           of reddish-brown markings.  The yellow 
                                           margin dorid is completely white, with no red 
                                           or brown whatsoever.

Red Nudibranch 
(Rostanga pulchra)

     Look for:  Gills on top of body
                          Rhinophores on top of mantle
                          Seen nearly always on red sponges
                          Lays tiny rings of red eggs on sponges
                          Small: Usually under 1 inch long
     Diet: Grazes and resides on red sponges
     Abundance: Scarce

Barnacle Nudibranch 
(Onchidoris bilamellata)

     Look for:  Oval shape
                          Cream-colored with pale to dark brown
                         Rough back
                         Small: Usually under 1 inch long
     Diet: Can be found eating and laying eggs on
     Abundance:  Scarce


Frosted Dirona 
(also known as White-Lined Dirona)
(Dirona albolineata)

     Look for:  Covered in long soft lanceolate cerata
                           Translucent with white edges on cerata
                           Prominent translucent oral tentacles
                           Medium: Usually 2 to 4 inches long
     Diet: Preys on snails
     Abundance:  Scarce


Golden Dirona 
(Dirona pellucida)

     Look for:  Covered in long soft lanceolate cerata
                          Orange with white edges on cerata
                          Prominent translucent oral tentacles
                          Medium: Usually 2 to 4 inches long
     Diet: Grazes on bryozoans
     Abundance:  Scarce


Shaggy Mouse 
(Aeolidia papillosa)

     Look for:  Covered in long soft rounded cerata
                          Light to dark gray, pink or brown
                          Prominent translucent oral tentacles
                          Clear "lacy" egg masses on eelgrass
                          Small: Up to 2 inches long
     Diet: Preys on anemones
     Abundance:  Scarce
    Similar Species: Can be distinguished from the    
                                          opalescent nudibranch by its
                                          round, blunt-ended cerata.  
                                          The opalescent has longer,
                                          pointed cerata.  Also, the shaggy 
                                          mouse is opaque whereas the
                                          opalescent tends to have 
                                          transparent or translucent 
                                          cerata that can have dark lines
                                          or bands of color.

Opalescent Nudibranch 
(Hermissenda crassicornis)

    Look for:  Covered in long, soft lanceolate cerata
                         Translucent, opalescent, yellow highlights
                         Prominent translucent oral tentacles
                         Seen on mud flats amidst eelgrass
                         Medium: Usually 1 to 3 inches long
     Diet: Preys on hydroids (anemones) and
                         Aeolididae (other nudibranchs).
     Abundance:  Scarce
     Similar Species: See shaggy mouse above.


Hooded Nudibranch
(also known as Lion Nudibranch)
(Melibe leonina)

     Look for:  Translucent, clear to pale grey, yellow or 
                            Internal spots visible
                            Up to 4 inches long
                            Slender body with paddle-like
                            Large hood with 2 fringes of tentacles
                            Swims when disturbed
                            Smells faintly of watermelon
     Diet: Feeds on small crustaceans
     Abundance:  Scarce

(see video of swimming nudibranch at right)


Strong's Sidegill Slug
(Berthella strongi)

     Look for:  Yellowish to brown in color
                           Smooth body
                           Up to 2 inches long
                           Egg ribbon is a cylindrical coil
                           Very similar in appearance to Berthella
     Abundance:  Scarce.  Reported from Baja to 
                                   Central California.   One 
                                   record in British Columbia.


Brown Bubble Snail 
(Haminoea vesicula)

     Look for:  Brownish in color
 Speckled body partly covered by
                                 transparent shell
                          Small, rounded, soft body
                          Lives and lays eggs in eelgrass
                          Less than 1 inch long
     Abundance:  Common


 Taylor's Sea Hare 
(also called Eelgrass Sea Slug)
(Phyllaplysia taylori)

     Look for:  Yellow-green to bright green coloration
                          Transverse stripes of white to pale yellow 
 black to brown
                        Stripes may be solid or broken in rows of
                        Usually less than 2 inches long
                        2 pair of tentacles
                        Rhinophores rolled
     Diet: Feeds on diatoms and other small organisms
                         grazed from 
eelgrass blades.
     Abundance:  Scarce
     Notes:  This species lives on eelgrass blades and is
 camouflaged.  The "phyll" in the
                          name Phyllaplysia means "leaf.". 
The sea
                          hare's coloration along with its tendency
 orient its 
body lengthwise along the
                          eelgrass blades can make it
  difficult to
                          see.  The sea hare leaves a characteristic
                          feeding scar
 on eelgrass.  It also lays its 
                          eggs on eelgrass blades.

brown warty dorid

San Diego dorid

Monterey dorid

sea lemon

sea lemon egg ribbon

yellow margin dorid

Acanthodoris nanaimoensis 
Nanaimo dorid

red nudibranch

barnacle nudibranch

frosted dirona

golden dirona

shaggy mouse with eggs

opalescent nudibranch

hooded nudibranch swimming

Strong's sidegill slug

brown bubble snail

Taylor's sea hare

Egg mass of  
Phyllaplysia taylori 
on eelgrass