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!
I’m glad everyone was wrong about assuming its colour was bleached out. This specimen is amazingly well preserved and looks just like a living one.