Hypselodoris apolegma from Malaysia

July 5, 2003
From: Asther M. Lau

Hi again!
Here are some more pics for the collection. I think all are Hypselodoris bullocki. Please confirm. Thanx!

Upper Right: 8 meter at Gua Rajawali, Tenggol Is. Malaysia, 26th April 2003. Size: approx 2.5 - 3 cm long. Lower Left: 22 meter at Tokong Laut, Tenggol Is., Malaysia. 25th April 2003. Size: approx 1.5 cm & 3 cm long. Lower Right: 12 meter at Gua Rajawali, Tenggol Is. Malaysia. 26th April 2003. Size: approx 2.5 - 3 cm long. Photos: Adrian Yeo

Why in the lower left photo are the two slugs different sizes? Could it be possible that the smaller one is the offspring of the bigger one? They seemed to be mating.
Asther M. Lau

asther@scubadiveknit.com

Lau, A.M., 2003 (Jul 5) Hypselodoris apolegma from Malaysia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10341

Dear Asther,
This is Hypselodoris apolegma. It's very unlikely that the small one is related to the large one. The eggs of this speies are quite small which suggests that there is a planktoni larval stage in their life history whch means it is most unlikely that a slug will settle down and grow near where its parent deposited its egg ribbon. Opisthobranchs are all all hermaphrodites which means that when they are fully mature they have fully functional male and female reproductive systems. However in many, the male organs develop first, so a subadult animal can me a functional male, if not a functional female. In your photo the small animal definitely has its penis extended, suggesting that its male system is developed. However it won't have much joy in this position because the female genital opening of its large 'partner' is on the other side of its body.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Jul 5). Comment on Hypselodoris apolegma from Malaysia by Asther M. Lau. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10341

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