Nembrotha cristata

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Nembrotha cristata
Nembrotha cristata 2.jpg
Side view
Nembrotha cristata bunaken.jpg
Top view in Bunaken National Park
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia

clade Euthyneura
clade Nudipleura
clade Nudibranchia
clade Euctenidiacea
clade Doridacea

Superfamily: Polyceroidea
Family: Polyceridae
Subfamily: Nembrothinae
Genus: Nembrotha
Species: N. cristata
Binomial name
Nembrotha cristata
Bergh, 1877

Nembrotha cristata is a species of colorful sea slug, a polycerid nudibranch, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Polyceridae. [1] This species of sea slug is black with green markings; adults are around 50 mm in length, and they live on rock or coral reefs in the tropical Indo-West Pacific Ocean. Although they mostly eat sea squirts, they also absorb stinging cells from the jellyfish that they sometimes eat; this allows the sea slug to deliver a painful sting to would-be predators.[2]


Nembrotha cristata is a large black nembrothine ("nembrothid" in much of the literature) that grows to at least 50 mm in length. Its body is covered with raised green nodules. The rhinophores and gills are black, edged in green. Other than the difference in color, this species is similar in appearance to Nembrotha yonowae.[2][3]


This nudibranch species occurs in the tropical Indo-West Pacific Ocean.[4] It lives at depths between three and twenty meters.[5] These sea slugs live on coral or rock reefs, and have a lifespan of up to a year.[2]


The bright colors of this nudibranch species are a warning to predators (i.e. aposematism). These creatures incorporate stinging cells (nematocysts) from the jellyfish that they sometimes eat, and thus the slugs are able to deliver a painful sting.[3] Normally however these sea slugs eat compound tunicates.[6] Like all opisthobranchs, these sea slugs are hermaphrodites.[2] They lay their eggs in the sand in a ribbon-like pattern.[5]


  1. ^ Bouchet, P. (2015). Nembrotha cristata Bergh, 1877. In: MolluscaBase (2015). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on 2015-09-06
  2. ^ a b c d "Rare Resources". Rare resources. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Documenting Reality". Documenting Reality. Retrieved 30 August 2015.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  4. ^ "Nembrotha cristata, Bergh, 1877". Retrieved 12 August 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  5. ^ a b "Whats that fish". Whats that fish. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  6. ^ ref name="slug forum"
  • Pola M., Cervera J.L. & Gosliner T.M. (2008) Revision of the Indo-Pacific genus Nembrotha (Nudibranchia: Dorididae: Polyceridae), with a description of two new species. Scientia Marina 72(1):145-183.

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