Hermissenda crassicornis

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Hermissenda crassicornis
Hermissenda crassicornis 1.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Subclass: Heterobranchia
Order: Nudibranchia
Suborder: Cladobranchia
Family: Facelinidae
Genus: Hermissenda
H. crassicornis
Binomial name
Hermissenda crassicornis

Hermissenda crassicornis, also known as the opalescent nudibranch or thick-horned nudibranch, is a species of brightly coloured, sea slug or nudibranch, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Facelinidae.[1]


This nudibranch lives from Kodiak Island, Alaska, to Northern California. It is replaced by Hermissenda opalescens to the south of Northern California.[2]


This species is found in various habitats, including the intertidal zone of rocky shores, but also in bays and estuaries.


The species grows to be about 50 mm, or about 2 inches. The colour of this nudibranch varies from one locality to another, but it is always easily recognizable by the orange stripe along its head area and the white stripes on the cerata.[3]

Life habits[edit]

This nudibranch feeds on hydroids and other marine organisms such as ascidians and sea anemones. It sometimes attacks other nudibranchs, and will eat smaller specimens of its own species. It's also been known to eat sea pens, small crustaceans, and stranded jellies.


  1. ^ Rosenberg, G. (2011). Hermissenda crassicornis (Eschscholtz, 1831). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species on 2012-06-03
  2. ^ Lindsay, T. & Valdés, Á. (2016) The Model Organism Hermissenda crassicornis (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia) Is a Species Complex. PLoS ONE 11(4): e0154265.
  3. ^ Thomas, C., 2007 (Apr 4) Colour variation in Hermissenda crassicornis. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney.