The Spanish dancer (Flabellina iodinea) is the most common and flashy of the nudibranchia. It is easy to see why it is called the Spanish dancer, as its colors remind one of flamenco dancer costumes. This species also 'dances' occasionally by letting go of the substrate and wildly thrashing its body back and forth, creating the same look as a flashy flamenco dancer's skirt. This is just one of the thousands of species of "tidepool treasures" -- marine plants and animals found in the small bodies of water left by the ebbing tide that fill the rock basins and depressions along California's rocky shores.
Image credit: Genny Anderson, Santa Barbara City College