A rare sea slug has been discovered for the first time in UK waters by a volunteer diver near the Isles of Scilly.
The multi-colored sea slug, known officially as the babakina anadoni, has only been found a handful of times off the coast of Spain, according to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
The groundbreaking discovery was made on July 28 and has sparked excitement amongst conservationists.
Speaking with the Daily Mail, Murray recalled that he didn’t actually recognize the species was anything special when he photographed it. He said, “I just knew that it wasn’t something I’d seen before or recognised, and nor did anyone else on the boat when I surfaced.”
In a press release Matt Slater, Marine Conservation Officer, stated:
“What an incredible find! We were extremely excited to hear about the sighting of this colorful 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 it’s less than half the size of your little finger, it’s amazing 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.”
The photography Murray captured is the first confirmed record of the species in the UK, and it’s all thanks to volutneer divers and some curiosity that the sighting occurred at all.
Hopefully we’ll see more of this colorful species going forward!Whizzco