August 24, 2005
From: Ray Simpson
Here's a picture (it is not mine but it's remained unidentified for some time on the Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center (SERTC) website. The photo was taken by Jerry McLelland during the 2003 Explorer cruise to offshore hard bottoms off the South Carolina coast.
Locality: Carolina shelf edge, South Carolina. USA West Atlantic. Photographer: Jerry McLelland
The species resembles Tambja oliva, previously known only from Central America. The olive-yellow base color with blue rhinophores and gills seems to fit the description of T. oliva. As you discuss [message #14292] I wouldn't be surprised if T.? gratiosa was indeed a Roboastra and T. oliva was its food. It seems that there are Roboastra/Tambja predator/prey pairings... i.e. ?gratiosa / oliva in the NW Atl. and the undescribed sp./ stegasauriformis or divae in the SW Atl. I'd love to see a picture of T. divae, it seems like a stunning animal! The SERTC website is at http://www.dnr.state.sc.us/marine/sertc/)
Thanks for reading my babbling :)
P51MustNB@aol.comSimpson, R., 2005 (Aug 24) Tambja oliva? from North Carolina, USA. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/14592
I suspect this animal is Tambja oliva but we have so little information on it that it is hard to be sure of the variability to be expected in the species. I have posted a photo, kindly provided by Lucas Cervera, of a specimen from the Bahamas on the new Fact Sheet. The only other photo I know of are the quite yellow specimens on the Slug Site at http://slugsite.us/bow/nudwk409.htm.
Since discussing the generic position of Tambja? gratiosa I have seen the recent description of Tambja tentaculata which has Roboastra-like oral tentacles so we will really need to look at the anatomy of T. gratiosa before we can be sure. I have alerted Lucas Cervera and Marta Pola to a possible source of specimens so hopefully we won't have to wait too long for the mystery to be solved.