July 9, 2001
From: Asther M. Lau
Recently I found a Chromodoris tinctoria at Sea Fan Garden, Tioman, Malaysia.
What puzzles me was the scar that it has on its body. It looked as if it's been torn nearly half its body across and now, instead of having a whole nice body, there is a huge scar on its right side near its head. (if you look from the top). My question is, is there a possibility that this creature could have been bitten and then managed to heal, leaving such a nasty scar on it?
It was about 4cm long. And looked pretty healthy then. What animals could have this beautiful thing for food?
Thank you for your time.
email@example.comLau, A.M., 2001 (Jul 9) Damaged Chromodoris tinctoria f rom Malaysia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/4751
It has possibly been bitten by a fish which then spat it out because it tasted bad. Often animals with bright colours also have distasteful glands in their skin so that potential predators learn to leave these bright colour patterns alone. Have a look at the page on Colour & defence for some background information.
I have started a page to record predation observations because there is very little known about what actually eats nudibranchs. Also have a look at the page on Abnormalities where there are links to photos of abnormal body shapes. Some of these are apparently caused by developmental mistakes when the animal was growing, but others are almost certainly the reult of regrowth after predation damage.