Aeolid from northern Mariana Islands

February 25, 2006
From: Yukari Tani

Dear Bill,
Could you identify these please? We think its possible to be the almost same species as the one from Jervis Bay in message  #14670  but, we can see only color and shape of rhinophore

 Locality: Eelgrass Beds, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. Pacific Ocean. Depth: 1.5 m. Length: 2 mm. 4 January 2006. On the rock. Photographer: Yukari Tani

Best regards,

Yukari Tani, 2006 (Feb 25) Aeolid from northern Mariana Islands. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Gon,
Like the animals from Jervis Bay you refer to, this is most probably a species of Cuthona. Quite a lot of them have a reddish orange band on the rhinophores. Identifying them is quite difficult unless they are one of the species which has a very distinctive colour pattern based on skin pigment. Many have a colour pattern which to a large extent is based on the colour of the digestive gland - and thus their food. Many have also been described on the basis of very few specimens so we have no idea of their colour varaibility. This is especially true of Indo-West Pacific species. At this stage it is difficult to know just how wide spread some of the described species are.

If anyone is willing to give us their opinion it will be very welcome. It is possible there is a description out there which fits this colour pattern precisely, but it is a bit like a lottery. So I am afraid at present I am going to have to leave this in an unidentified list.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (Feb 25). Comment on Aeolid from northern Mariana Islands by Yukari Tani. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Cuthona sp. 8

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