Babakina caprinsulensis from New Zealand

March 23, 2005
From: Ian Skipworth

Hi Bill

I can't remember seeing one of these before but I'm sure you'll know what it is. As always, your comments would be much appreciated.

Locality: Poor Knights Islands, nthn New Zealand. Depth: 12 m. Length: 10 mm. 19 March 2005. rocky reef. Photographer: Ian Skipworth.


Skipworth, I., 2005 (Mar 23) Babakina caprinsulensis from New Zealand. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Ian,
This is a nice find. It is Babakina caprinsulensis, which was described from nearby Goat Island some years ago by Michael Miller. I recently visited Michael in Auckland and he kindly lent me a set of slides of New Zealand species to post on the Forum, including one of the specimen from Goat Island he used to describe and name this species. So I have taken the opportunity to post his photo [#13349] as well as your message. If you look at the messages attached to the Babakina cf festiva Fact Sheet you will see that there are records of similar animals from the NW and NE Pacific and  the Atlantic and Caribbean It is possible they are all one species. One apparent difference in the New Zealand species was that the rhinophores were described as papillate. However your photos suggest they are lamellate, just like typical B. festiva. Sometimes when animals are preserved it is difficult to be sure of some details such as the nature of rhinophore elaborations. Certainly in the photo of the holotype it is not possible to determine whether they are lamellate or papillate.  This is an interesting find. The most characteristic external character of Babakina  is the way the rhinophores stalks are fused into a single broad trunk.

By total coincidence, while preparing your message, I have received a message [#13404 ] from Dong Bum Koh, from South Korea with photos of Babakina festiva, so I will post that as well. The day is turning into a Babakina festival!

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2005 (Mar 23). Comment on Babakina caprinsulensis from New Zealand by Ian Skipworth. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

  1. Babakina caprinsulensis from New Zealand
    From: Ian Skipworth, September 10, 2007
  2. Holotype of Babakina caprinsulensis
    From: Bill Rudman, March 23, 2005

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