brown orange-eyed nudibranch
Cratena sp 4 (Brown Cratena)
Sunday 10th January 2010

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Cratena sp4
Common Name       Brown orange-eyed nudibranch
Photgrapher Johan Swanepoel
Dive Site Bellbouy
Date 10/01/2010
Time 13h08
Depth 10m
Size 15mm






Remarks from the Southern Underwater Research Group  (http:/

Guido Zsilavecz

Brown orange-eyed nudibranch(Cratena sp4)


Question by Johan Swanepoel:
Can you help me Id this nudibranch?
I took this photo at a depth of about 10 m at out reef the Bellbouy in Algoa Bay.

At first I though this may be the Elegant Nudibranch (Cratena sp.1) (Nudibranchs of the Cape Peninsula and False Bay page 97) or the Orange Eyed nudibranch (Cratena capensis) (Page 96) but the cerata seem too dense on the photos. Can this perhaps be the Indian Nudibranch (Aeolidiella indica) (page 99)? If you look on the one photo you will see the orange spots on the head.

Guido awnser

This is Cratena sp.4, a barely known species found in your area.
Described in Gosliner's book from a collection of only two specimens in Algoa bay, at about the same depth as the one seen by Johan Swanepoel. It is only known from that area, and Gosliner did not find any food association, so it is not sure exactly what it feeds on.

A few similar species exist, as shown in the images. Visually they differ only in relatively small, but distinctive, details.

For more details on these nudibranchs (except Cratena sp.4, which does not occur in the Cape Peninsula), see "Nudibranch of the Cape Peninsula and False Bay", available directly from SURG or better dive and book stores in Cape Town
























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brown orange-eyed nudibranch