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Nudibranchs of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Gary, David, Julie and Terry

Pic of the Week


Home Sweet Home


Micromelo undatus

All Sea Slugs develop as larvae. From the moment they hatch from the egg capsule they are programmed to develop by one of three methods, either, to start swimming in the water column for some period of time in search of plankton to eat (planktotrophic development) or, to swim in the water column surviving for a very short time without feeding (lecithotrophic development) or, to crawl out of the egg capsule and onto the food source as a miniature adult slug (direct development).

All species of Sea Slug possess a larval shell. Some develop and retain that shell for their whole life, some have only a remnant of the shell, which is usually located under the skin on the dorsum, and then there are those that discard the shell at the end of their larval stage. This last group, where the adult does not possess any shell, are the true Nudibranchs.

In the case of the beautiful Micromelo undatus (above photo) the animal has a small white calcified shell with brown lines that form an unusual design. The animal is unable to retract completely into the shell for protection.

Micromelo undatus is a head-shield slug or cephalaspidean. These are considered to be the most primitive of the sea slugs because of their external shell (or internal remnant), basic gill structure, form of the radula and relatively simple reproductive system – though they are hermaphroditic like all sea slugs.



Photo & text by Gary Cobb, thank you David Mullins, Coles Hole, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.




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Our Mission


Branchers PsalmLOCATE, RECORD, IDENTIFY and POST every species of OPISTHOBRANCH to be found on the Sunshine Coast Queensland, Australia. Learn more>


To LOCATE through scuba diving and intertidal searching.


To RECORD by underwater and studio/taxonomic photography (including microscopy photography) of the specimens.


To IDENTIFY these species through invaluable support fromqualified authorities in this field and developing reference resources.


To POST upon our web site not only images of the species and their natural history behaviour but also information concerning size abundance and localities. Additionally to disseminate to other sites information considered unusual (see Useful Resources).


Towards achieving these aims we will continue to acquire and develop the necessary equipment, resources and knowledge.


Have fun, learn and enjoy the Earth's greatest creatures!

Gary, David and the Team
Learn more>


Parting note.

Nudibranchs are amoung the most ephemeral of marine creatures. They greatly vary in size, colour and shape. They can be almost invisible or very bright and easy to see. Learn more>


Our Latest Find

Sagaminopteron pohnpei
(Hoff & Carlson, 1983) 2.5 mm

La Balsa Park, Mooloolah River, Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia


Sunreef Nudibranch Day


Our Nudibranch website


We embarked upon this adventure of ours while diving here on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Upon realizing the amazing variety of nudibranchs we were seeing, we developed an appetite for not only finding as many different species as possible but identifying and learning all we could about these most amazing creatures of the sea.
Naming Nudibranchs was born when a friend of Gary’s suggested we share our knowledge with the world. The site commenced in March 2003 when we set out on our quest to find, identify and record all of the nudibranchs here in our area. The ever changing sea and seasons give up new surprises every visit whether they are subtidal or intertidal.


Nudibranch Central


Nudibranch Central

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We describe our searching and identifying component of the quest as The Treasure Hunt, and the recording thereof upon the web site as The Never Ending Story.


We welcome for inclusion on the site the findings of other workers in this area that we may not have yet recorded.


From this website a Nudibranch Identification book called Undersea Jewels - A Colour Guide to Nudibranchs was published in 2006. The book is a 'Colour Guide'. After all that is the first thing anyone remembers about first seeing a Nudibranch.





Peak Baggers Guide

We note the publication of recent scientific research regarding the Flabellinidae family by Korshunova et al, (2017). As this research potentially affects a large number of species, we have elected not to update the website with name changes at this point in time, pending comments on the publication from the wider scientific community.

Korshunova T, Martynov A, Bakken T, Evertsen J, Fletcher K, Mudianta WI, Saito H, Lundin K, Schrödl M, Picton B (2017) Polyphyly of the traditional family Flabellinidae affects a major group of Nudibranchia: aeolidacean taxonomic reassessment with descriptions of several new families, genera, and species (Mollusca, Gastropoda). ZooKeys 717: 1-139.




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Nudibranch webmaster Gary Cobb | News Editor David Mullins

All photographs and content © 2003-2018 Gary Cobb, David Mullins, Julie Schubert and Terry Farr.