When we first wrote about the description of the incredible looking Melibe colemani, we couldn’t wrap our heads around the appearance of this extraordinary nudibranch. Still images of Melibe colemani look like a strange mass of thin pasta threads just coagulated together in a jelly-like mass.
Where pictures fall short, this incredibly close-up video shows the movements of Melibe colemani and this animal’s appearance simply defies logic. With a transparent body and thin “strings” of patterning throughout its skin and tissue, we have no idea what this nudibranch is supposed to mimic, and perhaps that’s the point, to confuse would-be predators into giving up on what they are seeing.
One encouraging thing about seeing the unreal Melibe colemani in this video is that it is frolicking in caulerpa, and perhaps its food stuff isn’t an exotic tunicate or sponge, and possibly able to be provided in captivity. The only thing that could come close to seeing a real live glass-like Melibe in an aquarium is some of the micro-sized Hippocampus bargibanti hanging out in some live colonies of Muricella.