Snorkeling: Nudibranch

Snorkeling Panama

Two Forms of Lettuce Sea Slug

Some of the most striking animals that inhabit the Bocatoranian reefs and waters are the Nudibranchs which means “naked gills”.

They belong to the Phylum Mollusca in the Class Gasteropoda subclass Opisthobranchia which includes Sea Hares, Sidegill Slugs and Sea Slugs.  Sea Slug is also used to refer to animals from other taxonomic groups like sea cucumber (Echinoderm), Snail (Gasteropoda Subclass Prosobranchia), or flat worm (Platyhelminthes) because of their shape and texture which reminds one of a slug.

Bocas del Toro Snorkeling

Ragged Sea Hare

Some facts: Nudibranchs are found all over the world’s oceans even Antarctica, from the shallow reefs or mangrove lagoons to the deep ocean waters. Their lifespan can be from some weeks to a whole year based on food abundance, which depending on the species, can be coral, sponges, sea anemone, hydroids or even fish eggs.

These pictures are for you to enjoy Nudibranch’s striking colors and shapes, and to give you an idea of their diversity. All of these pictures were taken in snorkeling excursions directly from Tranquilo Bay’s dock.

Nudibranch

Warty Sidegill Slug