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Top 10 Nudibranchs in sa

See if you can spot them all – the top 10 nudibranchs in South Australia!

Nudibranchs in SA?

Many people don’t expect South Australia to be a haven for nudibranchs, but you will be pleasantly surprised to kno close to 100 species have been documented in our waters so far with over 20 species at Port Noarlunga Jetty and Reef alone!

The list just keeps growing with lots of obvervations being reported every year with some magnificent finds from the local diving community, so we have compiled a list of the top 10 more common nudibranch species that can be found in and around our reefs and jetties!

Top 10 Nudibranchs Ceratosoma Brevicaudatum

1. Ceratasoma brevicaudatum

This may well be the most common nudibranch in our waters and it’s very easy to spot as it’s quite big and colourful. Also known as the short-tailed ceratosoma or locally as the common nudi, it can grow up to 15cm in length! Best spot: Most jetties in South Australia.

Hypselodoris Saintvincentia

2. Hypselodoris saintvicentia

The salt and pepper nudibranch is another colourful sea slug in the Chromodorididae family that can only be found in Australia’s southern waters and can grow up to 4cm. Best spot: Most jetties in South Australia.

Dendrodoris Arborescens Gary Cobb

3. Dendrodoris arborescens

One of only thirteen known Dendrodoris species in Australian waters, this black and orange nudibranch is not as easy to spot as the rest of the top 3 in SA because of its colour. It is usually about 4-5cm in length and lives on sponges (on which it feeds). Best spot: Rapid Bay Jetty.

Doris Chrysoderma

4. Doris chrysoderma

This dorid nudibranch is usually bright yellow, so they’re one of the easiest nudibranchs to spot. They can grow up to 3cm, so they’re not huge. They usually have lots of white spots on their body and are common at certain sites in South Australia. Best spot: Port Hughes Jetty.

Verconia verconis

5. Verconia verconis

A species of dorid nudibranch and a typical nudibranch found in South Australia. It is camouflaged by the shape, texture and colour of their skin. The body colour usually matches the sponge they’re feeding on (so they’re not the easiest to spot), and can range from pink to yellow or orange. They grow up to approximately 4cm in length. Best spots: Port Noarlunga, Rapid Bay, Edithburgh Jetty and many others.

Doriopsilla carneola

6. Doriopsilla carneola

A species of dorid nudibranch that grows up to 5cm in length. We have seen a lot of yellow ones in SA, but they can be almost translucent white to a deep maroon colour. Best spots: Port Noarlunga Jetty and Port Hughes Jetty.

Goniobranchus epicurius

7. Goniobranchus epicurius

A colourful dorid nudibranch species that can grow up to 5cm long, so they’re reasonably easy to spot! They have a white mantle with orange spot along the edge and translucent rhinophores and gills. Some have heavy red pigment and hardly any white. Best spot: Edithburgh Jetty.

Mexichromis macropus

8. Mexichromis macropus

A species of dorid nudibranch that grows up to 5cm in length. We have seen a lot of yellow ones in SA, but they can be almost translucent white to a deep maroon colour. Best spots: Port Noarlunga Jetty and Port Hughes Jetty.

Ceratosoma amoenum

9. Ceratosoma amoenum

Aptly known as the clown nudibranch, this species of dorid nudibranchs is an easy spot as they’re quite large at a maximum of 6cm. They feed on sponges and can be found in all temperate waters of the southern states. Best spot: Port Noarlunga Reef.

Elysia coodgeensis

10. Elysia coodgeensis

The sap-sucking sea slug is small at just 2cm max length. It’s usually on or near the sea floor on or near green seaweeds or sand flats and can be found in intertidal rock pools. It has a green body with little white spots and is a fun nudibranch to look for! Best spot: Port Noarlunga Reef.

Join us on a nudibranch photography hunt!

We run guided day and night dives at Port Noarlunga Reef any day of the week to look for nudibranchs and other macro critters! Or add a dive at Noarlunga Reef to your custom SA diving safari – simply send us an email to enquire!

Full Day9:00AM-5:00PM2 Ocean Dives

Our standard schedule for guided dives at Noarlunga is a full day with 2 dives included. We can include rental gear as well if required! Click on the button below for more information about our guided Noarlunga dives!


The Splendid One by Robert Rath


For everything nudibranch!

Visit our friend Gary Cobb’s website: www.nudibranch.com.au for everything nudibranch-related. Gary’s mission is to locate, record, identify and post as many nudibranchs as he can find and with over 20 years of diving experience, Gary has identified A LOT of nudibranchs!

He describes his mission as The Treasure Hunt and the recording of the species he has found and identified as The Never Ending Story! Gary definitely is Mr. Nudibranch!

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