|Posted on 28 August, 2015 at 13:40|
Melibe leonina.. The hooded nudibranch.
I love seeing these guys on a dive. I saw about 10 of them on my last dive at Argonaut Wharf in Campbell River last Sunday. In fact, I recall one particular dive in Deep Cove (a dive site just north of Victoria. BC in Sydney, where there were literally dozens of them on every piece of eel grass and bull kelp stalk and I kid you not, I would probably be under-estimating when I say thousands of them in view. It was surreal.
Let's get on with the fun fish facts. These guys are also sometimes called the 'lion's mane nudibranch', or 'lion's mane sea slug'.
This nudibranch is up to 102 mm long, 25 mm wide, and 51 mm across the expanded oral hood. The body is usually translucent but can be pale yellow or green. It has a large expandable oral hood, fringed with sensory tentacles, which it opens and throws forward in order to catch food. Prey include amphipods, copepods, mysids, other small crustaceans, small mollusks, small jellyfish and ctenophores, larvae of other invertebrates and in some cases small fish.
They apparently live about one year, reciprocally fertilize one another, lay their eggs and die.