Noumea haliclona feeding

February 16, 2004
From: David & Leanne Atkinson

Dear Bill,
Are these nudibranch's Chromodoris hunterae? We found a group of them feeding on a yellow sponge. A few weeks later we found a single individual travelling on sandy bottom [see message #12234].

Location: Halifax Sponge Gardens, Marine Reserve, Port Stephens, NSW, Australia
Date: 17 January 2004 Time: 6:00pm Tide: High 5:05pm
Water Temperature: 20 degrees celcius
Nudibranch size: 5mm Depth: 8m

Thanks for your help,
David & Leanne Atkinson

Atkinson, L. &. D., 2004 (Feb 16) Noumea haliclona feeding. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear David & Leanne,
I'm afraid I need to put some information on the C. hunterae Fact Sheet. Your animal is one of the New South Wales colour forms of Noumea haliclona. Both it and C. hunterae are members of the 'red-spotted group' colour group of New South Wales chromodorids, and these two species are similar sized and almost identical in external colour. One way you can almost always separate them is that in N. haliclona there is a red mark in the anterior midline of the rhinopore club. You can see it in the small close-up I have included. Usually it is not as prominent as in that photo but it almost always present. All colour forms of Noumea haliclona have this red mark.

Noumea haliclona feeds on a number of related species of Aplysilla, Darwinella and other related species. I haven't seen it on a sponge of quite this colour and shape, but I suspect its a species of Darwinella. Thanks for another valuable piece of information
Best wishes
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2004 (Feb 16). Comment on Noumea haliclona feeding by David & Leanne Atkinson. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Noumea haliclona

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