Eggs of Okenia ascidicola

December 16, 2003
From: Alan Shepard

Bill -
When I first sent you the photographs of Okenia ascidicola I mentioned that I also had shots of their egg strings. Well I finally got around to scanning them so here you go. There were dozens of egg strings at the time all attached to the substrate in an area covered with Molgula manhattensis, O. ascidicola's food source.

Finding the egg strings of various nudibranchs is sometimes the easiest way to know that there is a nudibranch about.
Best wishes,

Alan Shepard
Tolland, CT, USA

Shepard, A., 2003 (Dec 16) Eggs of Okenia ascidicola. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Alan,
Egg ribbons are certainly a good indication that a nudibranch is hiding nearby. It seems to be a flaw in most nudibranchs' defensive strategy, but I guess humans are the only 'predators' who have the brain power to realise that the presence of egg ribbons means that there is a good chance that the 'egg ribbon maker' is near by.
Best wishes
Bill Rudman


Okenia ascidicola