Antiopella fusca

Image courtesy of Merry Passage

Image courtesy of Webmaster
Antiopella barbarensis with all it's xmas lights turned on!

Merry Christmas to all.

Antiopella fusca (O'Donoghue, 1924)

Well, if this doesn't look like a Holiday celebration, I don't know what does. Its cerata burst from the body like a message of Joy.

Previously this species has jumped back and forth between Janolus and Antiopella. The difference between the two genera is that Antiopella has smooth cerata while Janolus have papillated cerata.

The tips of the cerata remind me of Christmas lights on a tree. Unlike its southern sister species, Antiopella barbarensis (seen at left). It's cerata have a single unbranched digestive gland extension. A dashed orange line runs from the caruncle, that crazy organ we still don't know what's its function is, between the rhinophores and down the middle of the body. Maybe some day one of you bright students will bring us a Christmas present explaining what the function of this "sensory like" organ is.

How appropriate is it that this species range begins near Santa's workshop in Homer, Alaska, near the North Pole south to San Luis Obispo, California and across the ocean to Russia. It lives in the low intertidal to 30 m (100 ft) on rocks, kelp, and soft bottoms, and feeds on the bryozoans Bugulina and Tricellaria.

Please join Mike and I in celebrating this Holiday season with the exuberance displayed in this little but gorgeous critter.

Dave Behrens
Sammamish, WA 98074
Dec., 2022
Send Dave email at

Nudibranchs and Sea Slugs of the Eastern Pacific is now available from Mola Marine

The new revision after 17 years now contains over 300 species is due later this summer. Nudibranch and Sea Slugs of the Eastern Pacific not only expands the number of species found between Alaska and Panama but makes comparisons with similar looking species and discusses new phylogenetic information that has led to name changes.

Merry Passage worked as a genetics research scientist at Harbor UCLA for three decades. After retiring she has used her degrees from Arizona State University and laboratory experience as an aid to scuba diving. She spends countless hours researching many of the animals we find underwater. Her home office is filled with binders and identification books from algae to whales.

Phil Garner has been scuba diving since 1989. Before that, he enjoyed free diving the many reefs around Palos Verdes. He met Merry Passage during a beach dive at Marineland in 2006 and they have been a team ever since. Phil is the author of Diving The Palos Verdes Peninsula . He and Merry can be found branching as often as possible.

Send Merry email at
Send Phil email at

Phil Garner and Merry Passage

From left to right, Terry Gosliner, Angel Valdes, Dave Behrens La Jolla, Calif.

Send Dave email at
© The Slug Site, Michael D. Miller 2022. All Rights Reserved.