The beautiful Babakina anadoni, a very rare type of sea slug called a “nudibranch,” has been seen for the first time in UK waters.
During the Wildlife Trust’s National Marine Week, Seasearch worker Allen Murray saw and took a picture of the 2cm-long nudibranch near Melledgan, an uninhabited rock island in the Isles of Scilly.
The Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust say that this aeolid nudibranch has only been seen a few times along the west coast of Spain and in other parts of the Atlantic, but never in UK seas.
“What an incredible find,” said Matt Slater, Marine Conservation Officer at Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Co-ordinator of the Seasearch programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
“We were extremely excited to hear about the sighting of this colourful nudibranch – a species that we believe has never been recorded in the UK before.
“It’s one of the prettiest sea slugs I’ve seen and, given its less than half the size of your little finger, it’s amazing that Allen spotted it at all. There’s still so much out there that we don’t know about our marine environment. Records like this from our Seasearch divers are vital in helping us understand and better protect our seas.”