Nudibranchs

Animals frequently use dazzling colour patterns to find food, attract mates and avoid predation. Aposematic signals are used to warn predators that a species contains chemical or other defence mechanisms.

Nudibranchs (marine shell-less molluscs) store secondary metabolites from dietary sources for their own chemical defences, and also exhibit a variety of colour patterns, ranging from those that are highly camouflaged against their background to those that display highly conspicuous colour patterns.

Using a multidisciplinary approach, we aim to investigate the evolution of visual signals in this intriguing model system by evaluating the conspicousness of colour patterns, identify and determine the relative strength of chemical compounds used to deter predators in a range of nudibranch species.