Ancula? from the Galápagos Ids

February 6, 2004
From: Angel Chiriboga

Dear Dr. Rudman,
I found this slug at Daphne Minor (25ft) near Santa Cruz Is, Galápagos Ids. But I didn't notice that it was there until I downloaded the pics on my computer. Because I was trying to take a close up picture of the sponge (possible Adocia sp.). Could you help me with the I.D (nearest possible).

Many thanks,

Dear Angel,
I'm afraid I can't see enough of the shape of this animal to be sure what it is. I suspect it is a member of the Goniodoridae such as Trapania or Ancula, but species of both those genera have extra-rhinophoral and extra-branchial processes, which I can't see in your photo, but they could just be obscured in your photo. The bluish 'tinge' or 'cloud' I can see over the red sponge is interesting. It looks to me like it could be a colony of Kamptozoa [Entoprocta], which often grow in associaition with sponges. Ancula gibbosa [see message 3910] feeds on kamptozoa, and many species of Trapania do as well, [see message 3767] so I would not be surprised if your animal was either a Trapania or an Ancula.

One possibility is that it is Ancula lentiginosa Farmer & Sloan, 1964, which is known from California and Baja California, Mexico. It is white with reddish brown mottling so its possible your animal is a colour form of that - but without further information we can only guess

• Farmer, W.M. & Sloan, A.J. (1964) A new opisthobranch mollusk from La Jolla, California. The Veliger, 6(3): 148-150, pl. 18.

Best wishes
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2004 (Feb 6). Comment on Ancula? from the Galápagos Ids by Angel Chiriboga. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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