September 28, 2005
From: Gary Cobb
Hi Bill and readers,
Please find attached some pics of Herviella affinis I found under a rock at Alexandra Headland intertidal. It appeared that this animal has faint yellow almost cream tentacles instead of yellow. There were also 3 egg masses. This is what drew my eye to the animal.
Locality: Alexandra Headland, Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia. intertidal, Length: 12 mm. 26 Septemeber 2005. Intertidal. Photographer: Gary Cobb
This addition has made our species list here on the Sunshine Coast 215. All the species can be viewed at www.nudibranch.com.au
firstname.lastname@example.orgCobb, G., 2005 (Sep 28) Herviella found in southern Queensland. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/14846
This is a nice find, but it is Herviella claror not H. affinis. This species was described by Bob Burn from northern New South Wales, and if you compare it with the photos of H. affinis on the Forum, there are some colour differences. For example H. affinis has a distinct blackish band midway up the rhinophores, and the cerata have black speckling in the lower half to one third, followed by a broad white band below the subterminal orange band. It is possible that these two species and Herviella cloaca and a couple of other species will turn out to be colour variants of one species, but they need to be revised. Unfortunately their small size means they are not often collected, so there is little material available for examination. There are radular differences as well, but the descriptions all predate scanning electron microscopes, so our understanding of radular differences in the genus are based on old light microscopes mounts and drawings.
It's good to get a photo of the egg masses, but unfortunately in this case, the egg masses are so similar to those of H. affinis, that they don't give us any help in deciding if we are dealing with one variable species or a number of similar, but distinct, species.