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The Flabellina affinis

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Tl;dr: a short read about the Flabellina affinis nudibranch.

Here in Malta, we don't have much in terms of whales and mantas and sharks, so our cameras are often drawn to... smaller subjects.  One that often catches the eye is the Flabellina affinis nudibranch, often found on Malta's wrecks.


Not long ago a buddy saw one for the first time and peppered me with questions I couldn't answer---what do they eat?  How long do they live?  I see the F. affinis on almost every dive and it's one of my favourite subjects: tolerates overexposure (blue, not white); tends to hang from fronds, making for beautiful backdrops; etc. But I didn't know much about it.

So I put aside my lens for some research time and put together a showcase of the Flabellina affinis to answer her questions.  I thought folks here might be interested in the read---plenty of Mediterranean divers here I reckon!

One of the questions it doesn't answer is why we have so few this year---I've seen only a handful in months!  Could it be related to water temperature?  Alkalinity?  We don't know.  Has anybody else in the Mediterranean noticed fewer F. affinis this year?

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