A rare multi-coloured sea slug was found by a diver in British waters for the first time ever.

Conservationists called the find of the Babakina anadoni "incredible" as according to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, the slug has only been found a number of times along the west coast of Spain and elsewhere in the Atlantic, but never vefore in UK waters.

The creature was found by a diver off the coast of the Isles of Scilly on July 28 and Matt Slater, marine conservation officer at Cornwall Wildlife Trust and co-ordinator of the Seasearch programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, spoke of his delight with the find.

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He said: "We were extremely excited to hear about the sighting of this colourful nudibranch – a species that we believe has never been recorded in the UK before.

"Records like this from our Seasearch divers are vital in helping us understand and better protect our seas."

He added: "It's incredible that they don’t get stung themselves when they process the stinging cells."

Lucy McRobert, communications manager at Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, said she learns something new every time she goes beyond the surface and into the ocean.

She explained: "We never cease to be amazed at the wildlife turning up in Scillonian waters.

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"From rare and beautiful nudibranchs to violet sea snails to great whales like humpbacks and fins, every time we dive beneath the surface we learn and see something new."

Seasearch volunteer Allen Murray initially didn't recognise the species when he spotted it during the Wildlife Trust’s National Marine Week and said discussions on his Facebook group is what eventually led him to positively identifying the Babakina anadoni.

"We then checked our ID guides for the UK when we got back to land but without success," he said.

"But one of the group had a vague recollection of having seen something similar on a Facebook discussion group and did some digging and tentatively ID’d it as Babakina."


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