April 20, 2005
From: Julie Marshall
This species seems to be Haminoea ovalis although it seems to be a very variable species. Bob Burn found three specimens whilst sieving algae from coral clumps on the reef flat at Heron Island [Great Barrier Reef] at low tide. They ranged in size from 3 to 7 mm. The two better photos are of a 3 mm animal which has only a few blackish-dark purple spots; the other photo (unfortunately not a good one) was of a 7 mm animal and as you can see it had many more dark spots. Apart from the dark spots it is very similar to Haminoea cymbalum [H. simillina?] which I used to find in very large numbers on algae at the reef crest at Heron Island at low tide, but this species never had dark spots. In recent years the Chlorodesmis and other algae on which they were found has largely disappeared from the reef crest (possibly due to the higher water temperatures over the last couple of years) and they are now rarely seen.
Locality: Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia, Pacific Ocean. Depth: Intertidal. Length: 3 mm and 7 mm. 19 March 2005. Intertidal. Photographer: Julie Marshall
Marshall, J.G., 2005 (Apr 20) Haminoea ovalis from Heron Island. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/13533
As we have discussed on the Forum before, we still seem to have a way to go before the orange-spotted haminoeids make sense - or at least can be identified.