Koh Tao Marine Life – Nudibranchs

Nudibranchs – Koh Tao Marine Life

Nudibranchs are the most diverse and variable species of Koh Tao marine life to be found are the island. Nudibranchs or sea slugs is a name normally given to any marine gastropod without a shell or a reduced one, such as nudibranchs, Pleurobranchs, Sea Hares, Sap Sucking slugs, and Bubble Snails and Headsheild Slugs. Members of each of these species, plus many more, can be found when diving.  Nudi means naked and branches refer to gills!.. Naked Gills! Koh Tao diving marine life 


Nudibranchs come in a great variety of shapes, colors, sizes, and body styles.  For example the rhinophores (ear-like structures that can sense and taste) that can be smooth, retractable, sheathed, lamellate, or papillate.  The oral tentacles could be short and blunt, long and exposed, or heavily reduced.  Some have cerata (sort of horns that extend the surface area of nudibranchs and aid in respiration) while others have dorsal appendages and others may be smooth or bumpy that may do the same job.

Nudibranchs can be seen on the Koh Tao open water diving course

We still have a lot to learn. Many don’t grow longer than a few millimeters but some can grow to 20cm.  They do not move fast either and can be very hard to spot with some so well camouflaged that they look like the rocks or corals they are sitting on.  You need a keen eye to find them, the best people to spot them are the underwater photographers.

Where Can You Find Them?

They live under the sand, crawl along the seafloor, swim in the water column and some are like plankton living just below the waves.  They are most notable when crawling along the sand or on the rocks and corals.

What Do They Do?

One of the common traits of these creatures is how they defend themselves, they have chemicals with which to protect themselves from predators.  Some do retain an internal or external shell to some degree as well as chemical protection.   Also, they are widely studied as an important indicator of biodiversity in a healthy marine ecosystem.  Koh Tao marine life is known to be very healthy, not as colorful as other places but still healthy. And there are many eco projects such as artificial reefs to help encourage corals and marine life that can be found around the island.

Koh Tao diving has a lot to see
Koh Tao has a diverse array of marine life

Koh Tao marine life has a great variety to offer fun divers, those who are learning to dive, and even snorkelers. You do not have to go diving to see the underwater life but it does help. We do not have much of the “big stuff” but we do get whale sharks, mostly at the deeper dive sites. But we do have lots of underwater life to enjoy. Here are just some of the other types of marine life you can see around Koh Tao.

Want To Know More About Koh Tao Marine Life?

So if you are interested in learning about Koh Tao marine life you can study the Fish Identification or Marine Ecology courses online.  There are more ecology courses being made available all the time. If you would like to more about scuba diving certifications on Koh Tao contact us and you can find out more about the diving we offer by clicking on the links below or follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

There are many online courses that can be completed prior to diving on Koh Tao
Coral Identification Card

Other Koh Tao Scuba Diving Courses

Try Scuba DivingOpen Water CourseAdvanced CourseFun Dives

Want To Know More?

Find out more about SSI here: Dive SSI

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