Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Family: Dorididae

Genus/species: Peltodoris nobilis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Color variable: may be pale yellow to a deep rich yellow or orange. Back is covered with tubercules and dark spots. Fleshy antennae (sensory organs) and a rosette of gills protrude from the back of a sea lemon’s slim, flat body. One of the largest of all nudibranchs; 4 to 4.5 inches (10 to 11.5 cm).

Sea Lemon Nudibranch3124713462_3c7ecb3ff5_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: found from Alaska to Baja California in
rocky areas, mostly at low intertidal and subtidal depths to 300 feet (91 m). Often seen on harbor pilings. California is well-known for the diversity of nudibranchs found in its coastal waters.

DIET: uses a file-like radula to eat sponges.

Sea Lemon Nudibranch3123887143_7648580fb9_b

REPRODUCTION: like all nudibranchs, is hermaphroditic and can produce both sperm and eggs.

LIFE SPAN: approx. one year


REMARKS: P. nobilis is one several dorid nudibranchs with a fruity, distinct lemon scent usually given off when the animal is handled, thus its common name. When concentrated, the odor repels many predators.

COLOR OF LIFE Note: Concealment by camouflage. Has a bumpy surface typical of those corals and sponges.

Sea Lemon Nudibranch2997671850_b9f4546718_b


California Academy of Sciences Color of Life docent training 2015

Ron’s flickr

Metropolitan Oceanic Institute and Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium…


Ron’s WordPress shortlink