Corambe pacifica swimming?

November 10, 2007
From: Judith Garfield

Has anyone seen Corambe pacifica swimming? I was snorkel-swimming off La Jolla Shores, San Diego, California, when I noticed a lot of activity a foot below the water's surface. I realized that it was a Corambe. I grabbed a piece of bryozoan-encrusted Macrocystis nearby and placed it under the animal. It alighted and "dissappeared" against its backdrop. Since many species of nudibranchs don't swim, I am interested to find out if anyone else has seen this.

Locality: La Jolla, 2 feet below surface, CA, USA, Pacific Ocean, 12 July 2006, water column. Length: 6-7 mm long. Photographer: no picture.

Judith Garfield

Garfield, J., 2007 (Nov 10) Corambe pacifica swimming?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Hi Judith,

Interesting observation. Since very few people ever find this highly cryptic animal in the first place, I am sure you are likely the first to see one "swimming." This is the first report of this behavior I have ever heard of. I am wondering if you might have dislodged the critter while snorkeling. Cryptic dorids like this species don't really have a need to swim with their food so abundant, and their disguise so perfect.

Thanks for sharing this observation,
Dave Behrens

Behrens, D.W., 2007 (Nov 10). Comment on Corambe pacifica swimming? by Judith Garfield. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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