Nudibranch? from southern California

April 27, 2006
From: Lauri Hamilton

Daisy (my cocker spaniel) spotted this Nudibranch on our morning walk in Los Angeles Harbor. Are they indigenous to sthn California or are they hitchhikers from the tankers?

Locality: Los Angeles Harbor, 3 feet, CA, Pacific, 19 April 2006, Inner Harbor rocks at low tide. Length: 6". Photographer: Lauri Hamilton.

P.S. Daisy also spotted a rock fish, not an small feat. She loves fish.


Hamilton, L., 2006 (Apr 27) Nudibranch? from southern California. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Hi Lauri,
Great comparison to cute Daisy.  Floating docks are one of my favorite collecting spots.  Great Branch habitat and you can stay dry and warm.  I also find that by hanging my underwater camera upside down I can get some fairly good shots.  Seems like you have this mastered from the surface all ready, however.  Good show.

Your critter is one of the largest dendronotids on this coast, Dendronotus iris. This species, varies in color as you can see from earlier postings, but the key identifying character is the white stripe along the edge of the foot.

Your critter at 6 inches is pretty standard.  This species feeds on tube anemones.  Kind of hard to imagine them on a dock however.  Maybe on the bottom below.

Best wishes,
Dave Behrens

Behrens, D.W., 2006 (Apr 27). Comment on Nudibranch? from southern California by Lauri Hamilton. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Dendronotus iris

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