September 8, 2005
From: David Abecasis
I wonder if you can give me a hand identifying these sea slugs.
Locality: Faro, Portugal. Depth: 15 m. 06 May 2005. Photographer: David Abecasis
firstname.lastname@example.orgAbecasis, D.A., 2005 (Sep 8) Trapania hispalensis from Portugal - feeding. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/14717
This is Trapania hispalensis. For a long time people thought species of Trapania must feed on sponges, because they were often found, like your two animals, spending a lot of time on particular sponges with their heads down looking like they were feeding. However if you look carefully at the sponges you will find dense clusters of microscopic stalked animals called entoprocts or kamptozoans, which are what species of Trapania really eat. In the middle photo I have ringed a couple of area where there are quite a few kamptozoans, and in the bottom half of the lower photo the sponge is totally covered by kamptozoans. Even though you didn't know it, this photo is a good example of Trapania and its food. It is also a new species to add to the Forum