January 6, 2004
From: Anne DuPont
Happy New Year. Hope that you and your family had a good holiday.
I am back in the Bahamas for the winter and finding the head shield slugs again. And I have found one that I cannot identify. Can you identify it for me, please?
It was found on December 26,2003 about 1 PM. It was in about 5 feet of water crawling on the sand during the day off Stocking Island, Exumas, Bahamas (Southern Bahamas) The size was approximately ½ inch long. This was the only one I saw that day. It was found in an area that I also found: Philinopsis depicta, Aglaja felis, Chelidonura hirundinina and Chelidonura berolina.
Thank you for your time.
Delray Beach, Fl., USA
DuPont, A., 2004 (Jan 6) Philinopsis aeci from the Bahamas. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/11805
I am pretty sure this is the animal that Colin Redfern (2001: Pl.114, figs 649) calls Philinopsis sp. A. I suspect it is closely related to the Indo-West Pacific species Aglaja? orientalis as it has a similar body shape and patterns of transverse white bands across the body.
It sems that this species has been recently described from the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica as Philinopsis aeci. In that description, the general body shape is the same and an acoompanying photograph [Pl. 3, fig. A] shows traces of the white transverse bands but the background colour is a dark yellowish brown. A colour painting [Pl. 2, fig. C] has a much lighter backfround colour and yellowish tubercles, each surrounded by a bright orange red ring are very conspicuous. Similar tubercles with a white basal ring are sometimes seen in Aglaja? orientalis so I suspect their presence in the Costa Rican specimens and their absence in Bahamian animals does not necessarily mean that there are two different species. Clearly what we need is more photos to see just how much colour variation there is.
• Ortea, J., Espinosa, J. (2001) A new species of Philinopsis Pease, 1860 (in Spanish). Avicennia, Moluscos del Mar caribe de Costa Rica, Suplemento 4: 41-42.
Thanks for starting the year with some interesting finds