May 16, 2006
From: Ian Skipworth
Here's a little aeolid I found recently in Dusky Sound. It's not familiar to me and your comments on its identification would be much appreciated.
Locality: Passge Point, Dusky Sound, 12m, Fiordland, New Zealand, Tasman Sea, 8 May 2006, Rocky reef. Length: 8mm. Photographer: Ian Skipworth.
firstname.lastname@example.orgSkipworth, I.R., 2006 (May 16) Eubranchus rubeolus? from Fiordland, New Zealand. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/16605
Your visit to Fiordland has produced some interesting animals. Michael Miller (1971) describes 4 specimens from Dunedin, in sthn New Zealand, and identified them as Eubranchus rubeolus Burn, 1964 a species from Victoria, Australia. Your animal differs from Miller's in not having any orange on the head, oral tentacles and bottom half of rhinophores, but otherwise they are identical. One important feature to note is the orange patch in the dorsal midline just behind the rhinophores. If you have any other photos it would be nice to know of there are any orange patches or a line on each side of the body, as Miller describes a broad orange band along each side of the body.
What I am not sure is if this is the same as Burn's E. rubeolus from Victoria, a species which is based on a single 7 mm long specimen. As far as I know it has not been reported again in Australia. As I have outlined on the Fact Sheet, there are some colour differences between New Zealand and Victorian animals but until it is redescribed from Victoria, we can't be sure if they are the same species