Nudibranch guide set for re-issue

Out-of-print book catalogues colourful sea creatures

Author: Pat
24th February 2012
 

An out-of-print UK nudibranch field guide could be re-issued later in the year.

Just what exactly is a nudibranch, anyway?

‘A Field Guide to the Nudibranchs of the British Isles’ by Bernard Picton and Christine Morrow was first published in 1993. As one of the few guidebooks to the obscure world of the British nudibranch, copies are now changing hands at inflated prices on online auction sites.

Just what exactly is a nudibranch, anyway? For the uninitiated, they’re typically small (often very small) slug-like creatures found sitting on shallow seabeds.

Apparently it’s their external respiratory organs which give them the name ‘nudibranch’, or “naked gill”, found either horn-like on the body or in grooved patterns.

Strictly speaking they belong to the mollusc family of animals, which includes limpets, periwinkles, air-breathing garden and pond snails and slugs, and sea slugs.

Sometimes they’re particularly captivating due to an ornate body and beautiful colouring.

Bernard describes the book thus: “This guide is intended for divers, underwater photographers, naturalists exploring the seashore and anyone who wants to know a little more about the nudibranchs found around the coasts of the British Isles.”

As author, Mr Picton knows a thing or two about the mysterious nudibranch. He’s Curator of Marine Invertebrates at the National Museums of Northern Ireland, and has amassed a study collection of images going back decades.

For the planned re-issue, the book’s text looks set to remain the same. However there’ll be extra photos to accompany all 108 entries found around the British Isles, with more species included than in the first edition.

Bernard is currently in talks to secure funding, with the re-release of ‘A Field Guide to the Nudibranchs of the British Isles’ planned for late 2012.

 

Nudibranch photographs courtesy Bernard Picton

 
 
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