Nembrotha lineolata - finding mating partners?

July 13, 2007
From: Carlos R. Munda

Here are a couple of mating nembrothas (N. lineolata?). I first observed the specimen in the middle photo about a foot from the other one. I first noticed the strange protrusion on its side and wondered if it was some kind of injury.

When it had worked its way to the other nembrotha, I noticed the same appendage starting to grow from the second specimen and thats when i figured what was about to happen...

What i can't figure out is how the first specimen knew that other one was there. I figure the way the current was moving had something to do with it. but if that was the case, how did the second Nembrotha know when to stick its own organ out just when its mate was getting near - but not yet near enough to touch.

Locality: Samal island, Davao gulf, 40-50ft, Philippines, pacific, 23 December 2006, wall, reef face. Length: 2-3 inches. Photographer: Carlos R. Munda, jr..

Carlos R. Munda

Munda, C, 2007 (Jul 13) Nembrotha lineolata - finding mating partners?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Carlos,

Yes these are N. lineolata. Smell and touch are the only 'senses' these animals have. They can't talk to each other or see each other, so any communication must be through scent or touch. Clearly from their ability to find their food, their sense of smell is very well developed. Although there have been many experiments to show how nudibranchs find their food by smell, I don't know of any that have been designed to study just how well they can sense potential partners. You may remember a message I posted last year [#17419 ] about the Sea hare 'love drug' which seems to serve this function.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Jul 13). Comment on Nembrotha lineolata - finding mating partners? by Carlos R. Munda. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

  1. Nembrotha lineolata from sthn Queensland
    From: Gary Cobb, October 14, 2008
  2. Re: Nembrotha rutilans mating
    From: Tamara Hartwich, August 8, 2008
  3. Sex in East Timor
    From: Brian Francisco, April 28, 2008
  4. Re: Nembrotha lineolata - feeding observations
    From: Richard Swann, April 15, 2008
  5. Is this Nembrotha rutilans ?
    From: Aaron Fink, February 15, 2008
  6. Mating pair of Nembrotha lineolata
    From: Carrie Lo, May 25, 2007
  7. Re: Nembrotha lineolata from Tanzania
    From: Wilhelm van Zyl, May 31, 2006
  8. Nembrotha lineolata from Tanzania
    From: Claus Gregersen, May 29, 2006
  9. Nembrotha lineolata - feeding observations
    From: Brian Francisco, March 28, 2006
  10. Nembrotha lineolata from Sulawesi
    From: Bob Whorton, February 15, 2006
  11. Nembrotha lineolata from west Malaysia
    From: Ho Wei Kwok Alvin, September 12, 2005
  12. Re: Nembrotha lineolata with transverse lines
    From: David Bush, August 2, 2005
  13. Nembrotha lineolata with transverse lines
    From: David R. Bush, June 15, 2005
  14. Nembrotha lineolata from Fiji
    From: David & Leanne Atkinson, June 14, 2003
  15. Nembrotha lineolata - reproduction
    From: Vasa P. Sirinupongs, June 10, 2003
  16. Nembrotha lineolata from Borneo
    From: Mark Burnett, January 27, 2003
  17. Nembrotha lineolata from North Sulawesi
    From: Alice Lee, January 21, 2003
  18. Nembrotha lineolata from nthn Sulawesi
    From: Helmut Schirmböck, July 9, 2002
  19. Nembrotha lineolata laying eggs
    From: Mary Jane Adams, May 22, 2002
  20. Nembrotha lineolata from the Solomons
    From: Bruce Potter, September 14, 2001
  21. Nembrotha lineolata with spawn
    From: Jim Anderson, July 5, 2001
  22. Nembrotha lineolata feeding
    From: Erwin Koehler, August 22, 2000
  23. Transverse lines on Nembrotha lineolata
    From: Dirk Hasberg, August 17, 2000
  24. Nembrotha lineolata from Papua New Guinea
    From: Mary Jane Adams, August 9, 2000
  25. Nembrotha lineolata from Philippines
    From: Erwin Koehler, January 17, 1999
  26. Nembrotha from SE Sulawesi
    From: Lindsay Warren, April 22, 1998
  27. Nembrotha at Port Stephens
    From: David & Leanne Atkinson, January 9, 1998

Show factsheet and all related messages