Nudibranchs? on Bryozoan

January 5, 2000
From: Eric Pederson

I am a graduate student at the Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. I am studying the ecology of the organisms found on bryozoans that accrue here in the fall. I have found many nudibranchs on the bryozoans and have not been able to I.D. them. They have been found on two species of bryozoa- Bugula neritina and Zoobotrium verticulatum. The nudibranchs are found in the Mississippi Sound which is an estuary, but we do not know where the bryozoans originate - no one has yet found them in their sessile form in this area. When I collect them, they have floated/drifted in in large mats. I hope this information and included pictures make I.D. of these critters possible. The ones in these pictures were found on Bugula neritina.

Thank you for your consideration,

Pederson, E., 2000 (Jan 5) Nudibranchs? on Bryozoan. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Eric,

If this is a sea slug, I think I will need some more photos to check out its shape. When I saw your message I immediately thought of Okenia zoobotryon. What your photo does remind me of are bivalves of the family Leptonidae ( and related families) which are small and quite often crawl along like snails and have long papillae (sometimes coloured) extending out from the mantle flaps which partially cover their shells. However I don't know of any associated with bryozoans.

Any ideas from others are welcome. Eric, if you have photos of other slugs from bryozoans they would be very welcome.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Jan 5). Comment on Nudibranchs? on Bryozoan by Eric Pederson. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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