Monday, 23 February 2015

Sea Creature Challenge

By way of a pleasant change from stranded ships, Kilchoan Early Bird has sent in two pictures of sea creatures he would like identified.  This one is about the length of a little finger, and may be a chiton, perhaps Lepidochitona cinerea.  Can anyone confirm this?

This one is about the size of an average apple and is a complete mystery to me.  Has anyone any ideas?


  1. I think this is a sea slug, or nudibranch, as they are known - a mollusc without a shell. The wheel like boss are the gills which rise up like trees in the water, and the head is at lower right. I am no expert and don't know the specific.

  2. The first image is a Chiton, a mollusc of which, according to Wikipedia, there are 940 species. They give the name to Chitosan, used to clear home wine. The second is a type of sea slug, or nudibranch, of a size we used to call a sea hare, but nothing like the size of a warmer water relative , known as a Spanish Dancer, which could "swim".

  3. The second image is indeed a nudibranch - Becky Hitchin (JNCC) has helped me to id which one: Doris pseudoargus.

  4. Paul Elletson has forwarded the following identification from his friend Graham Todd. Many thanks to both of you, and to Derryck, Billy and 'Anonymous' for their comments.
    "The first one is a chiton or coat-of-mail shell which has articulated plates so that it can configure itself to fit the irregular surface of rocks and the second is a sea slug, called a sea-lemon, archidoris briatannica."