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Marine Life Spotlight: Nudibranchs in UAE

Small things come in spectacular packages. You can say that about nudibranchs because they might be tiny but they are incredibly beautiful. These bottom-dwelling sea slugs with jelly-like bodies come in different colors, patterns, shapes, and textures. Nudibranchs, fondly called nudis for short, are a sight to behold and many divers look forward to seeing them during their underwater exploration. They can be found in different parts of the world but they thrive in shallow, tropical waters. If you’re scuba diving Fujairah, you’ll most likely come across these gorgeous creatures. Divers who love underwater photography will enjoy taking photos of these remarkable marine animals. 


Physical traits

Its scientific name, Nudibranchia, means naked gills. Since they do not have a shell, these tiny creatures live their lives with fully exposed gills. Most species have an oblong shape with feathery gills and horns on their backs. Some of these shell-less mollusks come with thick bodies while others appear flat. In terms of color variations, some nudis have loud, elaborate colors that make them stand out. Other sea slugs, on the other hand, have dull hues to blend with their surroundings.

The smallest nudibranchs are about 0.25 inches while larger species may grow up to 12 inches long. You must be wondering, how many kinds of nudibranchs are there? Well, according to National Geographic, there are more than 2,000 species of nudibranchs but experts continue to discover new ones. They can be categorized into two major types: Dorid and Aeolid – based on the location of their gills. The former breathes through its gills on its back while the latter has feathery horns on its back for breathing, digestion, and defense.


These little carnivores feed on algae, corals, anemones, sponges, and barnacles. Some species even prey on other nudibranchs. Nudis use a  pair of highly sensitive tentacles, called rhinophores found on top of their heads to touch, taste, and smell food or other nudibranchs. Their color is influenced by the food that they eat. 

Creative defense

Nudibranchs compensate for the lack of physical armor by developing an ingenious way to make their line of defense stronger. These creatures integrate the weapons of their prey and use them to their advantage. Many types of nudibranchs prey on corals, jellyfish, and anemones which have tiny stinging cells called nematocysts. Each nematocyst contains a dart-like tubule loaded with a toxin that is launched when touched. Aeolid nudibranchs eat these creatures without succumbing to the poison of their nematocysts. Instead of being harmed, the nudibranchs absorb the stinging cells at the ends of their cerata. They use it as a weapon when threatened or attacked. 


Another incredible trait of the sea slug is being simultaneous hermaphrodites. Nature equipped the nudibranch with the reproductive organs of both sexes so it can mate with any other mature individual of the same species. Incredible, isn’t it? Every nudibranch has the ability to get pregnant and produce as many as a million eggs at one time. To increase the chances of survival, these creatures lay their eggs in a circular manner. 

Life span 

Are you wondering how long these tiny creatures live? Their lifespan varies; some have really short lives (less than a month) while other species can live up to one year.

Encounter nudis underwater

Schedule your next dive with Nemo Diving Center for a chance to see spectacular nudibranchs. We have diving trips in Dubai and Fujairah. Check out our website to see our scuba diving packages.


Scuba diving is an exciting and adventurous water sport that offers a chance to explore the beauty of the underwater world and its amazing marine life. The UAE, particularly Dubai, is one of the most popular destinations for scuba diving, attracting divers from all over the world. With its crystal clear waters and diverse marine life, scuba diving in Dubai offers a unique and unforgettable experience.

The cost of scuba diving in Dubai varies depending on the dive center you choose and the type of dive you opt for. On average, a single dive can cost anywhere from AED 250 to AED 550, with the average price for a single dive being around AED 350. This price usually includes all the necessary equipment, such as the dive tank, regulator, and wetsuit, as well as the services of a professional dive guide. At Nemo Diving Center, We offer a wide range of diving packages to suit every budget and experience level.

Diving in Dubai is an incredible experience, and the UAE is home to many dive sites teeming with amazing marine life including colorful soft and hard corals, sea turtles, stingrays, manta rays, moray eels, cuttlefish, octopus, nudibranchs, seahorses, and a plethora of fish species. It is also noted for its incredible dive wrecks that have become rich artificial reefs. These dive sites offer a unique and exciting diving experience, providing a chance to explore sunken ships and other structures that have become havens for marine life.

Come and explore the unique underwater world of Palm Jumeriah in Dubai and incredible dive sites in Fujairah such as Dibba Rock, Sharm Rock, Martini Rock, Snoopy Island, and more. At Nemo Diving Center, we offer dive trips to these amazing dive sites, allowing divers to discover the incredible marine life that has made the wreck its home. We also offer a wide range of other dive sites to choose from, including shallow coral reefs, deep wrecks, and drift dives, providing something for every level of diver.

In conclusion, scuba diving in Dubai offers an unforgettable experience for all levels of diver. With its clear waters, diverse marine life, and incredible dive sites, Dubai is a must-visit destination for any scuba diver. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, our team at Nemo Diving Center will ensure that you have an amazing time exploring the beauty of the underwater world.



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