This photo was sent in to us of a strange thing found washed up on the shore at Waipapa Point. At first glance you might think it is some kind of fir cone, but the photo below of its underside confirms that it is almost certainly a warty nudibranch sea slug, Doris wellingtonensis.
It looks as though it is quite desiccated, so probably dead. When alive and in water you can clearly see the exposed gills on its upper surface.
It is found all round New Zealand in intertidal rocky areas and shallow waters and is New Zealand's largest nudibranch. It feeds on sponges.
See the Marine Life database for more information and images.
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