Hooded Nudibranch

Hooded Nudibranch

Melibe leonina

Physical Description

The Hooded Nudibranch, ranging from 35 to 300 mm, features a sizable body with disk-shaped cerata. Its body exhibits a translucent white to pale yellow hue. Notably, it boasts a large oral hood rimmed with delicate tentacles, surrounding its mouth.

Habitat and Geographical Range

This species is intermittently abundant along the eastern Pacific coast. Large adults are often found on kelp fronds, while smaller individuals are more cryptic, residing on kelp fronds within the surface canopy.

What They Eat and How They Breed

The Hooded Nudibranch lacks a radula. Instead, it captures larger zooplankton using its distinctive oral hood. Regarding reproduction, they likely engage in mating behavior, where individuals exchange sperm. Females then lay eggs, typically deposited in gelatinous masses on suitable substrates. Upon hatching, the larvae undergo a pelagic stage before settling on the ocean floor.

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