Gallery quality underwater photographic print by Paul Waldeck, available framed or unframed in several sizes.
Nudibranchs are sea slugs without shells. Many nudibranchs are brightly colored, and are the underwater analogs of butterflies. The name Nudibranch means "naked gills" and most nudibranchs have plumed gills outside the body. This animal has its gills clearly visible and is home to an Imperial Shrimp (Periclimenes imperator). The vast majority of nudibranchs also have a pair of sensory organs called Rhinophores on their heads.
Nudibranchs propel themselves forward by muscular contractions of a fleshy foot. Nudibranchs protect themselves with camouflage or chemical warfare. Bright colors can be used to warn predators that they are toxic or noxious. Some nudibranchs ingest the nematocysts (stinging cells) of their prey and use these cells they as weapons against predation. Some secrete acids which are toxic. Some nudibranchs have life cycles which last only 6 weeks; others live for over a year. p>
This specimen has a beautiful,small imperial shrimp as a hitchhiker. The shrimp lives symbiotically on the Nudibranch. In exchange for protection and transportation, the shrimp keeps its host free from parasites. Note the effective camouflage of the shrimp.
Photographed in Papua New Guinea