Amphipod commensals? on Aeolidia papillosa

October 8, 1999
From: I. Roginskaya

Dear Bill,

During my work with nudibranchs from the Commander Islands, Bering Island, Bering Sea, I discovered possible ectoparasites on the commonest species in this location – Aeolidia papillosa.

Location: near the settlement Nikolskoye; Date: 21.08.1971; Water temperature at collection site: T=10° C. Five specimens of A.papillosa. Size: 8.5, 11.5, 15.5, 16.5 and 31.5mm in living state, and a lot of their white and rosy festoon-shaped spiral spawns were found in the intertidal zone.

Among the dense cerata of two specimens of A. papillosa (8.5mm and 31.5mm long) were little amphipods (fam. Stenothoidae), with red eyes and orange anterior part of the body and glittering clear back, sitting tail down- head up and their incessantly moving legs and antennae created the impression that they were "fingering" the cerata of the mollusc. When A. papillosa were disturbed and crossed the cerata, these amphipods were completely hidden in a kind of refuge inside the ceratal clusters. I am not sure whether these amphipods are real ectoparasites of A. papillosa or not, probably commensals, only seeking protection and utilizing the space among cerata as shelter.

Irina Roginskaya.

Roginskaya, I, 1999 (Oct 8) Amphipod commensals? on Aeolidia papillosa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Aeolidia papillosa

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