Last week I gave you this bumpy little critter to identify:
I think everyone recognised the mystery object as some kind of Nudibranchia or sea slug. The general type of sea slug is identifiable by that ring of gill filaments known as a branchial plume that you can see at the top of the specimen. This is characteristic of the suborder Euctenidiacea, also known as the dorids.
I called it bumpy, but if you look closely you’ll see that the bumps are pinched at the base and actually look rather warty. There’s a clue in that – and several of you spotted it.
There were a number of wart-related nudibranch suggestions that were close, but jennifermacaire was spot on with her comment:
Doris has warts?
This is indeed a Warty Dorid or Doris verrucosa Linnaeus, 1758.
This specimen isn’t quite as faded as everyone expected – they’re usually a fairly muted orange, yellow or a greenish colour, not too different to the mystery object. This probably serves as camouflage against the background of the Warty Dorid’s favourite food, the Crumb-of-bread Sponge, which also varies in colour from bright yellow to darker shades depending on the depth of the water in which they live.
More mystery objects next week!