What is the 'Rose Petal Bubble Shell'?

August 23, 1999
From: Lauren Peck

Dear Dr Rudman,
I am doing an assignment on Opisthobranchs and have come across a species which I would like to include in it. However, the only information that I have is the common name of it: the Rose Petal Bubble Shell. If you have any information on this species could you send it to me asap? That would be really, really helpful,
Thank you very much,
Lauren Peck.


Dear Laureen,
Common names are a real problem. Usually only the author who invented them uses them and so they are hardly 'common'. It would be better if publishers treated their readers with some intelligence and stopped insisting on authors making up common names.

The animal with this name is Hydatina physis, which you'll see from the photo has a proportionally large frilly body which could be likened to rose petals. The cephalaspid Bubble Shells are an interesting group of Sea Slugs with modern representatives showing all the evolutionary stages the ancestors of today's Sea Slugs must have gone through to become shell-less slugs. Have a look at Pupa and Bullina to see two more snail-like representatives. Also have a look at the pages on Detorsion - how snails became slugs, What is a slug?, and torsion and nudibranch gills for general information on the topic.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 1999 (Aug 23). Comment on What is the 'Rose Petal Bubble Shell'? by Lauren Peck. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/1228


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