Nudibranch & Sea Slug Ecology

Nudibranchs, and other sea slugs, are a diverse and fascinating group of marine gastropods that have developed very colorful and ornate forms. Apart from being a favorite sighting by divers and photographers, their biodiversity is an indicator of total reef diversity, and also can be used when assessing changes in the physical or biological composition of marine areas in the face of disturbances. In our course you will learn about the ecology and taxonomy of sea slugs, and about how to conduct scientific surveys to monitor their abundance and diversity.


  • Be 12 years of age or older
  • Be certified as an Advanced diver under a leading diving organization (PADI, SSI, RAID, etc) or an Open Water diver who has satisfactorily completed a buoyancy appraisal with a professional diver
  • Demonstrate proper diving ability at an advanced level and be proficient in buoyancy and self-awareness


  • Be able to differentiate between different families of sea slugs using anatomical features
  • Learn various survey methods (endo-benthic, quadrat sampling, roving diver) used to survey for marine invertebrates in the muck.
  • Be familiar with the hierarchical structure of taxonomy (phyla to species).
  • Learn about the differences between morphological and molecular identification for marine invertebrates.
  • Understand the ecological and economic role of sea slugs globally


  • Attend the nudibranch and sea slug lecture
  • Complete the Sea Slug Quiz with a passing grade of at least 80%
  • Attend at least 1 briefing involving procedures for diving in soft-sediment habitats (aka. muck habitat)
  • Conduct at least 1 survey to observe and record sea slugs
  • Complete identification of 2 different species (underwater or using photos) using online and library resources

Expected course time about 4 hours

Certification Card

Training Centers

Published papers and studies based on this course

Scientific papers


Related Resources