The Nudibranchs Of Phuket Brighten Up Any Diving Experience
These bizarre little creatures are on every Phuket diving site and most stand out like a sore thumb. It’s not an animal that Phuket is renowned for. So if you ask your guide what the sluggy looking thing that they pointed out was you may get nudibranch as an answer and if you question further you’ll run into some well rehearsed diversion tactics.
To be fair to us there are so many species. It would be impossible to know them all, add to that the variations in the same species, the constant reclassification and that names can depend on which book you look in you can understand why giving positive ID’s is generally given a wide birth.
The Best Places To Look
As we mentioned before, nudibranchs can be found on every Phuket dive site but some are better than others. On our day trips, Koh Doc Mai is the stand out but the King Cruiser also has its fair share. A short but rewarding day can be had at Kata Beach, some very rare species can be spotted. The Racha’s don’t offer too much in this respect but Bay 1 can throw up some surprises.
Phi Phi is also worth a mention but you’ll be distracted by all the other marine life. It’s hard to keep your head down looking for nudi’s when there’s sharks and turtles around.
A Broad Term
Many of the photos in the below gallery are not actual nudibranchs, some are flatworms, sea hares or sea slugs. They all fall under the broader mollusk family. Essentially marine snails without a shell. The bright colours are a warning to predators that they taste awful or are toxic.
So below you’ll find photos of some the more commonly found nudibranchs and their relatives around Phuket and names at time of writing – it could potentially be completely wrong now. We’ll update the list as we get photos of more species so keep checking back to see what’s been added. If you have any nudi photos that you would like to put a name too then please feel free to send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post on our Facebook page. Of course the reply could be – it’s a nudibranch…
Click on the photo to get the name
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