nudibranchs text index | photo index
Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > sea slugs > Order Nudibranchia
Melibe nudibranch
Melibe viridis
Family Tethydidae
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? This large nudibranch is sometimes on among seagrasses. It may be seasonal: when seen, many individuals are encountered.

Features: 6-12cm long. Soft body with about 8 large lobes arranged in two rows along the body length. These lobes stick to predators and detach, so please don't handle the nudibranch. Like other Melibe species, it has an expandable hood which it uses to hunt. According to Bill Rudman, this nudibranch has lost its radula and instead has an oral veil that can expand into a "fish net". The veil is used to constantly scan the substrate or to sweep seagrass blades. When the sensitive hairs on the inner edge of the oral veil touch a small crustacean (amphipods, crabs, shrimps), the edge of the veil rapidly contracts, trapping the prey, which is then eaten.

It can 'swim', doing so upside down by vigorously bending side-to-side, touching its head to its tail. See Chay Hoon's video clips of the hood in action, and the animal swimming.

Its foot is said to be better suited to clinging to seaweeds and seagrasses than for creeping along the ground.

Cyrene Reef, Nov 08
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Swims upside down.
Cyrene Reef, Apr 08

Cyrene Reef, Apr 08

With expandable hood.

Melibe nudibranchs on Singapore shores

Photos Melibe nudibranchs for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Tuas, Mar 09

Cyrene Reef, Aug 12
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Cyrene Reef, Jun 12
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Pulau Semakau, Nov 13
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

Pulau Semakau, Nov 13
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

The expandable hood filmed on Cyrene Reef, May 08
Shared by Toh Chay Hoon on her blog.

Swimming! Filmed on Cyrene Reef, May 08

Shared by Toh Chay Hoon on her blog.

With grateful thanks to Toh Chay Hoon for obtaining the identification from Dr Bill Rudman and posting it on her blog.


FREE photos from wildsingapore tagged with Nudibranchia. Make your own badge here.
links | references | about | email Ria
Spot errors? Have a question? Want to share your sightings? email Ria I'll be glad to hear from you!
wildfactsheets website©ria tan 2008