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Marine life in Halkidiki Greece

  Nudibranches-sea slugs noticed in Halkidiki      Amouliani Island

 Nudibranchs are often casually called sea slugs but many sea slugs belong to several taxonomic groups which are not closely related to nudibranchs.The word "nudibranch" comes from the Latin nudus, naked, and the Greek βραγχια, brankhia, gills.
              They are noted for their often extraordinary colors and striking forms.
There are currently about 2,300 valid species of nudibranchs. The waters around Amouliani island is a heaven for sea slugs.The rocky slopes and bottom houses a plenty of sponges, algae and bryozoans which in combination with mild currents rich in oxygen and nutrients provide the perfect habitat for these wonderful beings.

A small specimen of the variety of nudibranches we have spotted over the years is available below.
Most informations are based on:

 Underwater pictures: Yiannis Iliopoulos, Androniki Iliadou, Stephan Kyutchukov
                                  Written by: Katerina Iliadou

Flabellina  rubrolineata from Greece 

Flabellina rubrolineata  aeolid nudibranch, commonly called also red-lined flabellina is a migrant sea slug species into the Mediterranean from Indian Ocean. Length:4cm. First time seen  at August  2012  to 4meters depth in  Amouliani Island, Halkidiki Greece. Water Temperature was 27       Celsius.

 Yellow umbrella slug Tylodina perversa

Tylodina perversa, common name yellow Tylodina is a species of sea snail, found in Mediterranean and Northeast Atlantic. Relaxing  at 5meters depth on a rock at Artificial reef "Magiatika" in  Halkidiki Greece. Length:5-6cm

Janolus Cristatus

 Janolus cristatus is semi-transparent nudibranch 
  founded at 13meters depth at Athos Halkidiki. Length 3cm


Flabellina Affinis

Flabellina affinis is a species of sea slug, an aeolid nudibranch, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Flabellinidae. Founded very often between 3-30meters

Felimare picta

Felimare picta Giand Doris is one of the largest  sea slugs that appears into the Mediterranean. Noticed around Amouliani quite often between 2 and 40meters depth usually on rocky seabeds. Length: 6cm 

Discodoris atromaculata

Discodoris atromaculata is a species of a sea slug a dorid mediterranean nudibranch, fairly common in Greece. Usually spotted on a sponge Petrosia ficiformis.

Cratena peregrina

Cratena peregrina commonly called  Hervia, is a small aeolid sea slug ts average size is between 3 to 5 cm. Noticed on rocky bottoms and slopes between 2 and 30meters depth, very often  with the species Flabellina affinis!  Both those aeolid sea slugs are feeding on hydroids of the genus Eudendrium. Here we see those two species together on the same Eudendrium  also with their eggs!!

Based on Wikipedia these tiny creatures prefer to  live in clear and well-oxygenated water. We are very lucky that we can see these wonderful nudibranches almost in all dive sites around Amouliani island!

Sea slug Pleurobranchus Testudinarious from Halkidiki Greece

 A rather large sea slug, also called turtle snail, 20cm average, carnivorous mollusk almost always found  between 8 to 25 meters deep. It has been so far recorded all over the mediterranean sea, in France, Turkey and Italy etc.We have been seeing Pleurobranchus Testudinarius since 2011 from middle of June till the end of July, usually in the West part of Ammouliani Halkidiki, in the grass or crawling on the rocks.

Caloria Elegans

This elegant aeolid nudibranch is a species of colorful sea slug that grows up to 1.5 cm long and has a translucent white body with thin lines. It is found in Mediterranean sea.
Usually we can see caloria elegans on hydroids Eudendrium between 5-25meters.

Thuridilla Hopei

Thuridilla Hopei is a species of a small sacoglossan sea slug which feeds off the sap of any kind of algae, some sponges and bryozoans. We can see Thuridilla Hopei between 3 - 25meters usually on rocks some times also  under stones! Length: 1,5cm

A baby Thuridilla Hopei at the artifial reef.

The pictures are taken in our artificial reef at 5meters which gives host to a whole colony of these lovely creatures.

Haminoea Cyanomagrinata   Haminoea Cyanomagrinata has most probably migrated into the Mediterranean from the Red Sea via the Suez Canal. Bubble-shaped shell, fragile, translucent, smooth, with no traces of ornamentation. The conspicuous purple-blue margin of the animal distinguishes Haminoea cyanomarginata from all other Mediterranean species of this genus.

In the Red Sea it has been found amongst coral rubble in shallow waters. In Greece it is usually seen at night between 15-30 m of depth on rocky surface covered with algae. Size: 0,5-1,5 cm, depth: 28meters in Amouliani island.


            Berthella ocellata                    

                                Otherwise named Pleurobranchus ocellatus, it is a species so far spotted only in Mediterranean Sea.Usually noticed under rocks at shallow depth, Berthella ocellata can reach more than 5cm in legth. The main features of this species are the domed mantle, its dark brown color contrasting the lightly colored ocelli fringed with white, which are characteristic and refered in the specific name.

             Platydoris Argo              

The largest specimens of this species can reach about 10cm in length. Typical platydorid with very flattened body, broad oval mantle mantle and hard granular texture.This large doridacean species are usually noticed under rocks or on rock walls. Those are perfectly cryptic with the substrate and difficult to spot! Location: Amouliani island Depth:12meters Length:4-5cm.This species has been known for almost three centuries as it was described by linnaeus with the genus Doris in 1767.

Umbraculum Umbraculum 

Also known as Umbraculum mediterraneum, it is a species of large sea snail or limpet (limpet is a common name applied to aquatic snails with shells broadly conical in shape) (more at wikipedia)  a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Umbraculidae. Commonly named the "umbrella slug", we can find this large sea snail almost always on axinella sponge between 12-35meters

Phyllidia flava on axinella sponge

Phyllidia flava is a species of sea slug, a dorid nudibranch that is very commonly  seen feeding on sponge axinella.

Chromodoris luteorosea 

Chromodoris luteorosea is a colorful species of sea slug, a dorid nudibranch that usually occurs in European waters.This picture is taken from .This species grows to 5,5cm and the body colour is purple. We have noticed Chromodoris luteorosea below 20meters, usually on rocks.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Colleagues, this is very interesting and useful information! I am Bulgarian malacologist, who studies the mollusc fauna of Amouliani Island. You can see my work on:
    Are you interested in cooperation? We can join our data and be coauthors of a paper about marine mollusca of Amoliani. Till now I have found over 40 species of marine snails (including the the slug Elysia timida (Risso, 1818)), and 23 terrestrial ones. If you wish you can mail me on Will be nice to cooperate!

    With best wishes