Chromodorid Sea Slug Chromodoris lochi
Protected from predators by its bright warning coloration and unpleasant taste, the chromodorid sea slug forages in the open, rather than hiding away in cracks and crevices. Since it cannot swim, it glides over the tropical reefs on which it lives on its muscular foot, secreting a mucus trail much as terrestrial slugs do. The different species of the genus Chromodoris are distinguished by the pattern of black lines on their backs and the plain color of their gills and rhinophores (a pair of olfactory organs at the head end).
The two chromodorid sea slugs pictured here are possibly about to mate. To do so, they must face in opposite directions so that their sexual openings are aligned. As they are hermaphrodites, they both produce sperm, which they exchange during mating, and both chromodorid sea slugs later produce fertilized eggs.
- Class Gastropoda
- Length 1 in (4 cm)
- Habitat Reefs
- Distribution Tropical and subtropical western and central Pacific