Melibe digitata

Melibe from Lembeh

Here is one more Melibe nudibranch, Melibe digitata, added to our life lists during our visit to Lembeh Strait, Indonesia in November 2015. We were near the end of our dive, slowly working our way up the slope to the surface. Our guide, ‘Man Tampilang, turning over rocks and coral rubble, found two of these very close to each other under separate pieces of rubble. They were so small – about an inch long – that I didn’t realize they were Melibes for a while. Finally, I saw the distinctive oral veil that the nudibranch throws out when it feeds.

A Melibe nudibranch from Lembeh Strait

The thought that this might be Melibe digitata, one that has been high on my “wish list” for a long time, was exciting but each of the nudibranchs looked different. Once home, we sent the images off the Dr. Ángel Valdés for confirmation.

A plug: his co-authored book, Nudibranch and Sea Slug Identification, Indo-Pacific is now available in hardcopy and e-pub editions.

And here is a short video: