December 12, 1999
From: Vinka Stenhouse
Note added 12 March 2008: This is possibly the recently named species Trapania vitta but it is hard to see colour pattern.
Here is another nudibranch from Espiritu Santo Is., Vanuatu, 1997. It was found on sponge at 2 metre depth. 8 mm long.
This is Trapania aurata. A puzzling feature of species of Trapania is we don't know what they eat. Sometimes they are found in quite large numbers, usually on a sponge which would suggest they are sponge-feeders. However the shape of their radular teeth is quite unlike that of any other group of sponge feeders, and they are related to animals which feed on bryozoans.
This mystery is quite similar to the mystery surrounding the food of species of the Gastropteridae (Sagaminopteron, Siphopteron, Gastropteron). The are also commonly found on sponges but have radular teeth similar in shape to the related philinoid bubble-shells such as Philine.
Trapania vitta? from sthn Queensland
From: Gary Cobb, March 18, 2008
Trapania vitta? from the Philippines
From: Erwin Koehler, March 14, 2008
Trapania aurata in East Timor
From: Brian Francisco, September 4, 2006
Trapania aurata? from Bali
From: Michael Miller , November 17, 1998