In what is possibly the first record for Ireland, an exciting find by one of our local divers! Libby Keatley discovered the yellow rimmed nudibranch (Diaphorodoris alba) while diving off Rathlin O’Brine, Donegal on the 5th June.
Speaking to Belfast Live, Libby said “It’s a nudibranch but that species has a very southern distribution according to the records I have access to, so it seems to be a big range extension – maybe climate change indicator?
“The species is Diaphorodoris alba,” she explained.
“We usually get Diaphorodoris luteocincta ‘fried egg nudibranch’ up north which is very common whereas this one is unusual.”
The record is significant in that this species is usually found in warmer waters further south – off Spain, France and throughout the Mediterranean. Its presence here, along with several other warmer water species in previous years, may be indicative of shifting ranges for these species due to changing environmental variables.
Records such as these highlight the importance of sharing your data with your Local Environmental Record Centre (LERC), so we may monitor how species distributions evolve and what this means for their future and wider ecosystems.
In Northern Ireland, you can submit your records directly to the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR) here: CEDaR Online Recording | CEDaR Online Recording (habitas.org.uk)
There is also a recording app (iRecord) for Android and Apple, information here: iRecord App – Apps on Google Play