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There are a lot of sea animals named after food, but scientists missed the chance to christen the Nembrotha kubaryana nudibranch after the food it most looks like — a watermelon.

This is the Nembrotha kubaryana nudibranch:

And these are some watermelons:

Nembrotha Kubaryana Wikimedia Commons/Steve Evans

Identical, right? They both have those light and dark green exterior stripes.

They even both have bright red undersides.

Nembrotha Kubaryana Wikimedia Commons/Chad Ordelheide

This type of nudibranch is found in the Indo-Pacific region near Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines, according to the Australian Museum's Sea Slug Forum. It's also known for being one of the bigger of the sea slugs.

It can be 4 to 5 inches long.

The Sea Slug Forum reported that this species can also be spotted instead of striped.

But, for the purpose of comparing it to everyone's favorite summertime fruit, the rest of the photos in this article will feature the striped version.

Look at that uncanny watermelon resemblance.

Nembrotha Kubaryana Wikimedia Commons/Nhobgood

Just be thankful watermelons share the nudibranch's coloring but not its toxicity. According to a paper in the Marine Ecology Progress Series, these nudibranchs eat poisonous sea squirts and then retain that poison to secrete later when they're feeling threatened.

The ability to avoid being poisoned by their prey and to later use that same poison to their own benefit is what makes nudibranchs the favorite animal of some scientists.

It's an amazing ability.

Another article on the Sea Slug Forum reported that the Nembrotha kubaryana hides this toxic secretion in those light green lines that run along its back.

You certainly wouldn't want to take a bite out of them.

Nembrotha Kubaryana


Watermelon, the fruit, actually has one other surprising connection to nudibranchs besides looking like the Nembrotha kubaryana.

As Azula previously reported, the melibe nudibranch actually smells like watermelon.

Add in the pineapple fish, lemon shark and banana wrasse and the ocean is basically a giant fruit salad ...

Where watermelon-adjacent nudibranchs are the stars.


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