September 2, 2003
From: John Chuk
Following on from Rachel's message, here are images of a specimen of Goniodoris meracula photographed at Portsea Pier, Victoria, Australia on 30th of January 2003. The specimen measured 16mm in length and was found nestled in a colonial ascidian on a pier pylon at a depth of 5m.
The upper image is of the specimen in motion across the ascidian. Several egg-ribbons are visible. This specimen was translucent white in colour with fine, bright orange spots all over the body.
The lower left image is an in situ shot of the specimen as found resting in a cup-shaped depression in the ascidian colony. The foot margin was rolled up and the specimen had assumed a rounded shape. It was well disguised and looked more like a small sponge colony than a nudibranch.
The lower right image is of the foot and was taken after I had partially rotated the specimen out of the depression it was found in. The specimen did not move and foot margin remains rolled up.
Chuk, J., 2003 (Sep 2) Goniodoris meracula from S.E. Australia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10878
I have not seen an animal of this colour before. I assume it is a colour form of G. meracula. Thanks for this nice series of photos which show how it hides in a nice little 'plughole' it eats out of the ascidian colony. They seem to lay an egg ribbon around each hole.