Nudibranch Safari species list

Thanks to the Nudibranch Safari, the house reef of Gulen Dive Resort is the most meticulously surveyed area in Norway. So far we have been able to find a total of 82 different nudibranch species.

Posted on Mar 29, 2013 - updated Nov 3, 2017

The nudibranch diversity at the house reef of Gulen Dive Resort is simply astonishing. Thanks to all the keen-eyed participants we have been able to identify a large number of species on the Nudibranch Safari over the last few years.

Officially, Norway is home to just over a hundred nudibranch species. With 82 documented species we have found approximately two-thirds of them - or almost all known species living in shallow water.

The house reef at Gulen Dive Resort probably has the highest documented nudibranch species count anywhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

The species list below is split into four groups or suborders for your convenience, even though newer taxonomy now divides them into just two groups. I have done my best to update the species names according to the latest info from WoRMS.

Dorid nudibranchs

The dorids are the largest group of nudibranchs worldwide, and more than a third of the Norwegian species belong here. They are generally characterized by having a gill plume towards the back of the animal.

The tiny Lophodoris danielsseni is considered to be one of the rarest dorids in Norwegian waters, but is abundant at the house reef of Gulen Dive Resort. To date we have found 24 species in this group.

Species name1011121314151617
Acanthodoris pilosa  (Abildgaard in Müller, 1789)XX XXXXX
Adalaria loveni  (Alder & Hancock, 1862)XX X XXX
Adalaria proxima  (Alder & Hancock, 1854) X XXXX 
Aegires incisus  (Sars G. O., 1872)        
Aegires punctilucens  (d'Orbigny, 1837)XXXX XX 
Aldisa zetlandica  (Alder & Hancock, 1854)    X   
Ancula gibbosa  (Risso, 1818)XX XX   
Cadlina glabra  (Friele & Hansen, 1876)        
Cadlina laevis  (Linné, 1767)XXXXXXXX
Calma glaucoides  Alder & Hancock, 1854      OO
Calycidoris guentheri  Abraham, 1876        
Colga villosa  (Odhner, 1907)        
Diaphorodoris luteocincta  (M. Sars, 1870)XXXXXXXX
Doridoxa ingolfiana  Bergh, 1899        
Doridoxa walteri  Krause, 1892        
Doridunculus echinulatus  Sars G.O., 1878        
Doris nobilis  Odhner, 1907        
Doris pseudoargus  (Rapp, 1827)XXXXXXXX
Echinocorambe brattegardi  Valdés & Bouchet, 1998        
Geitodoris planata  (Alder & Hancock, 1846)        
Goniaeolis typica  Sars M., 1861        
Goniodoris castanea  Alder & Hancock, 1845 X      
Goniodoris nodosa  (Montagu, 1808)XX XXXXX
Jorunna tomentosa  (Cuvier, 1804)XX XX  X
Knoutsodonta depressa  (Alder & Hancock, 1842) X   XXX
Knoutsodonta oblonga  (Alder & Hancock, 1845) X X    
Limacia clavigera  (O. F. Müller, 1776)XXXXXXXX
Lophodoris danielsseni  (Friele & Hansen, 1876)XXXXXXXX
Okenia aspersa  (Alder & Hancock, 1854)       X
Onchidoris bilamellata  (Linnaeus, 1767)        
Onchidoris inconspicua  (Alder & Hancock, 1851)        
Onchidoris muricata  (O. F. Müller, 1776)XXXXXXXX
Onchidoris pusilla  (Alder & Hancock, 1845)   X  X 
Onchidoris sparsa  (Alder & Hancock, 1846)   X  X 
Palio dubia  (M. Sars, 1829) XXXX XX
Palio nothus  (Johnston, 1838)X  XX   
Polycera faeroensis  Lemche, 1929        
Polycera quadrilineata  (O. F. Müller, 1776)XXXXXXXX
Rostanga rubra  (Risso, 1818)        
Rostanga setidens  (Odhner, 1939)        

Dendronotid nudibranchs

The dendronotid nudibranchs are generally characterized by having numerous, bush-like or cone-shaped protrusions on their backs - which is their gills. We have found 17 different species in this group, but there is still uncertainty surrounding some of the Doto species.

Dendronotus frondosus is one of the most common nudibranchs in Norway. It is very variable and in August 2017 Dendronotus europaeus was published as a new species to science.

Species name1011121314151617
Dendronotus dalli  Bergh, 1879        
Dendronotus europaeus  Korshunova, Martynov, Bakken & Picton, 2017     XX 
Dendronotus frondosus  (Ascanius, 1770)XXXXXXXX
Dendronotus lacteus  (Thompson, 1840)    X XX
Dendronotus robustus  E. A. Verrill, 1880        
Doto cf. crassicornis   X    X 
Doto cf. hydrallmaniae   X      
Doto cf. lemchei   X      
Doto coronata  (Gmelin, 1791)XX X XXX
Doto crassicornis  (Sars M., 1870)        
Doto cuspidata  Alder & Hancock, 1862 XX     
Doto dunnei  Lemche, 1976 X   XX 
Doto fragilis  (Forbes, 1838) X XXXXX
Doto hydrallmaniae  Morrow, Thorpe & Picton, 1992        
Doto hystrix  Picton & Brown, 1981 X  XXX 
Doto koenneckeri  Lemche, 1976        
Doto lemchei  Ortea & Urgorri, 1978        
Doto maculata  Montagu, 1804     X X
Doto millbayana  Lemche, 1976    X   
Doto pinnatifida  (Montagu, 1804)        
Doto tuberculata  Lemche, 1976 XX     
Tritonia griegi  Odhner, 1922        
Tritonia hombergii  Cuvier, 1803 X  XX X
Tritonia lineata  Alder & Hancock, 1848 X X  X 
Tritonia plebeia  Johnston, 1828 XXXXXXX

Arminid nudibranchs

The arminids is a small but diverse group of nudibranchs. Traditionally, many of the more cryptic species which cannot be placed in any of the other groups have been placed here - and the group is under constant revision.

Considered to be very rare in Norway, Hero formosa still turns up regularly at the Nudibranch Safari. In 2013, we were able to find 15-20 of them on every dive.

Species name1011121314151617
Armina loveni  (Bergh, 1860)        
Hero formosa  (Lovén, 1844)XXXXXXXX
Heterodoris robusta  Verrill & Emerton, 1882        
Janolus cristatus  (delle Chiaje, 1841)        
Janolus hyalinus  (Alder & Hancock, 1854)   XXX  
Proctonotus mucroniferus  (Alder & Hancock, 1844)        

Aeolid nudibranchs

The second largest group of nudibranch is the Aeolids, which are easily recognizable by the finger-like protrusions on their backs. They generally feed on hydroids, and are able to pass the stinging cells into a special chamber at the tip of the tentacles to act as protection against predators.

This group is quite diverse and contains some cryptic species, for instance in the Eubranchus family. DNA barcoding suggests that a common species like Flabellina lineata may in fact be two or even three different species, and work is in progress to describe them.

One of the easiest species to identify - Flabellina pedata is the only purple nudibranch in Norwegian waters.

Species name1011121314151617
Aeolidia papillosa  (Linné, 1761)XXXXXXXX
Aeolidiella glauca  (Alder & Hancock, 1845)   XXXXX
Berghia norvegica  Odhner, 1939  XXXX  
Catriona gymnota  (Couthouy, 1838) X XXXXX
Cumanotus beaumonti  (Eliot, 1906)     XX 
Cuthona distans  (Odhner, 1922)        
Cuthona nana  (Alder & Hancock, 1842)X  X    
Cuthona suecica  Odhner, 1940X       
Cuthonella concinna  (Alder & Hancock, 1843)   X    
Cuthonella norvegica  (Odhner, 1929)        
Diaphoreolis viridis  (Forbes, 1840)XXXXXXXX
Embletonia pulchra  Alder & Hancock, 1844      O 
Eubranchus cingulatus  (Alder & Hancock, 1847)        
Eubranchus doriae  (Trinchese, 1874)   XXX X
Eubranchus exiguus  (Alder & Hancock, 1848)XXXXXXXX
Eubranchus farrani  (Alder & Hancock, 1844)XXXXXXXX
Eubranchus pallidus  (Alder & Hancock, 1842)XX XXXXX
Eubranchus rupium  (Møller, 1842)X  X XX 
Eubranchus tricolor  Forbes, 1838    X   
Eubranchus vittatus  (Alder & Hancock, 1842)X      X
Facelina auriculata  (Müller, 1776) X      
Facelina bostoniensis  (Couthouy, 1838)XXXXXXXX
Facelina dubia  (Pruvot-Fol, 1948)        
Favorinus blianus  Lemche & Thompson, 1974XXXXXXXX
Favorinus branchialis  (Rathke, 1806)XXXXX XX
Flabellina borealis  (Odhner, 1922)X XX    
Flabellina browni  Picton, 1980 XXXXXXX
Flabellina cf. lineata sp. 1  XXXXXXXX
Flabellina cf. lineata sp. 2  XXXXXXXX
Flabellina cf. lineata sp. 3       XX 
Flabellina cf. rufibranchialis      X X 
Flabellina gracilis  (Alder & Hancock, 1844)XX XXXXX
Flabellina lineata  (Lovén, 1846)XXXXXXXX
Flabellina nobilis  A. E. Verrill, 1880XXXXX   
Flabellina pedata  (Montagu, 1815)XXXXXXXX
Flabellina pellucida  (Alder & Hancock, 1843) XXXXXX 
Flabellina salmonacea  (Couthouy, 1838)        
Flabellina verrucosa  (M. Sars, 1829)XXXXXXXX
Rubramoena amoena  (Alder & Hancock, 1845)       X
Rubramoena rubescens  Picton & Brown, 1978XX XXXXX
Tenellia adspersa  (Nordmann, 1845)        
Tenellia foliata  (Forbes & Goodsir, 1839)  XXX   
Tergipes tergipes  (Forskål in Niebuhr, 1775)XX X XX 
Trinchesia caerulea  (Montagu, 1804)       X
Zelentia pustulata  (Alder & Hancock, 1854)    X   

Entries with an 'O' instead of an 'X' means this species has speen spotted at the Gulen Dive Resort house reef, but at another time than the Nudibranch Safari that year.

Please note that the identifications are often done on-the-spot and may not be 100% accurate. But we're getting quite good at this! More and more species have been confirmed using DNA barcoding and other methods and we feel confident publishing this list.

This very strange, cryptic Janolus species turned up in 2013. It is still unclear if it might be a juvenile Janolus hyalinus or an entirely new species unknown to science.


Here are some of the rare finds and new species identified at the Nudibranch Safari. As you can see, something new and exciting happens every year!

2010: Eubranchus rupium was recorded as a new species for Norway.

2011: Goniodoris castanea and Onchidoris oblonga were recorded as new species for Norway. Tritonia lineata was recorded for the first time in 140 years.

2012: Berghia norvegica was identified for the first time since 1939, and seen in situ by divers for the first time in history.

2013: A record number of 54 species were identified. Three new species were recorded in Norway for the first time - Onchidoris pusilla, Onchidoris sparsa and Eubranchus doria.

2014: It was determined that a new Flabellina species has to be described. Three new species for Gulen were found - Eubranchus tricolor, Aldisa zetlandica and Doto millbayana.

UPDATE 2014: In a paper by Ekimova et al. (published March 24, 2015 - available here), it is confirmed that Dendronotus lacteus was collected at the Nudibranch Safari in 2014. Gulen is also the location for the neotype of Dendronotus frondosus.

2015: Two new Doto species never before recorded in Norwegian waters was identified - Doto maculata and Doto dunnei. We identified Cumanotus beaumonti and Janolus hyalinus for the first time on the Nudibranch Safari. Work on the Flabellina species is progressing and will likely result in the desciption of two new species.

2016: A new Dendronotus species was confirmed, and inconclusive work to identify the extremely rare Cuthona suecica was done. The Flabellina project continued and now looks to result in three (not two as previously thought) new species being described.

2017: Three new species for Gulen was recorded - Trinchesia caerulea, Rubramoena amoena and Okenia aspersa. The two latter have previously only been recorded one or two times in Norway.

UPDATE 2017: In a paper published by Korshunova, Martynov, Bakken & Picton (available here) Dendronotus europaeus is established as a new species with type locality at Gulen Dive Resort. According to the Swedish species databank, the Cuthona suecica has also been identified, making our find from 2010 the first record for Norway and the first record ever since the original description in 1940 (also the first record in situ).


In total, we have found a staggering 82 species at the Nudibranch Safari since the beginning. Eight of these are marked cf, which is only done when we are certain they are not any of the accepted species. We try to keep the cf's to a minimum, but over the years we have inevitably accumulated a few.

Overall, we have been able to identify 13 species new to Norway at the Nudibranch Safari - four of them new to science (three are currently still being described).

Total nudibranch species pr. year3953325450485345
Running nudibranch species count3959616773777982

The sea hare Aplysia punctata is found every year on the Nudibranch Safari.

In addition to the true nudibranchs we also regularly find several other ophisthobranch sea slugs such as Aplysia, Elysia, Akera, Colpodaspis, Lamellaria and Pleurobranchus.

These are not included in the list above, but if counted the number of opisthobranchs found at the Nudibranch Safari looks like this:

Total opisthobranch species pr. year4458375654525751
Running opisthobranch species count4465677382868992

The list is under constant revision, and changes may occur at any time - even to the number of species found in previous years as more material is analyzed and collected. Please keep in mind that identifying nudibranchs is (unfortunately still) not an exact science...

Thank you to all the Nudibranchs Safari pariticipants and experts, which over the years have contributed to this list. Well done!

» Read more about the Nudibranch Safari

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