species: Nembrotha cristata in Lizard Island area: all known taxa (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Nembrotha cristata

©Anne Hoggett: Nembrotha cristata off South Island, Lizard Island group.

©Barbara Banks: Nembrotha cristata in the Lizard Island lagoon with its food source, the ascidian Sigillina signifera.

©Barbara Banks: Nembrotha cristata at Lizard Island
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Mollusca
Class Gastropoda
Order Nudibranchia
Family Polyceridae
Genus Nembrotha
Species Nembrotha cristata



Distinguishing features

A large black nudibranch with round green tubercles, black rhinophores with green bases, and a green border to the foot (Sea Slug Forum; Humann and Deloach, 2010)


  • Size data has not been obtained.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution


Feeds on the ascidian Sigillina signifera (Sea Slug Forum accessed 25 Nov 2017).

Barbara Banks notes: Following cyclones Ita and Nathan in 2014 and 2015 respectively, there was little of this ascidian in the lagoon where it and Nembrotha cristata had been plentiful. It was not until late 2017 that numbers of both ascidian and nudibranch increased, although not yet to pre-cyclone abundance.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Humann, P. and N. Deloach (2010). Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific New World Publications Inc., Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

Other references

  • Waegele, H., I. Burghardt, N. Anthes, J. Evertsen, A. Klussman-Kolb and G. Brodie (2006). Species diversity of opisthobranch molluscs on Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, In: Contemporary studies into the systematics and evolution of opisthobranch molluscs, (Eds. G. Brodie, S. Fahey and F.E. Wells), Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 69: 33-59. LIRS catalog number 1036.