Crazy about nudibranchs

Crazy about nudibranchs

Much more glamorous and attention deserving that their above water counterparts, nudibranchs are the slugs of the underwater world, but they look amazing, helping to make them a favourite of macro lovers’ and photographers. Tucked away on the reef, most of the time just a few centimeters in length, divers need ‘eagle eyes’ to spot them on the reef.

Soft-bodied molluscs, nudibranchs are part of the sea slug family. Compared to the slugs living in our gardens, nudibranchs lose their shell in the first phases of their lives, and therefore have developed alternative defense mechanisms to keep them safe. Camouflaging themselves with their colours and textures is just one way that keep themselves out of harms way, while some have developed the ability to secrete a toxin that makes them inedible to their potential prey. Nudibranchs can even ‘power up’ their toxic capabilities by digesting toxins themselves which are then converted into their own defence mechanism.

They mostly live in shallow and warm tropical waters, making them more easy to find in the Maldives. Keep your eyes open, especially at The Arch, Bathala Thila or Maalhos Thila in the North Ari Atoll.