New finds from South Africa

December 15, 1999
From: Terry Gosliner

Dear Bill,
I really like the new look for the site. It is very "new millenium". I continue to be fascinated by all of the interesting material that Valda has been posting from South Africa. With all my administrative responsibilities, I have not had time to comment on some of the animals the way that I would like to be able to do. I am very delighted to see so many of the species that we have recently described appearing on the site. I was particularly gratified to see Hypselodoris rudmani and H. fucata.

It has been great to see so many of the Halgerda species, as well. I was really happy to see that Halgerda toliara is known outside of Madagascar and the color variation present in H. dichromis, particularly since we had only a single specimen. I think that the color variants without the dark spots are indeed a distinct and undescribed species. Not only do they lack the black spots, they also lack black pigment at the base of the rhinophores and appear to have a small orange line at the base. It would be great to have Valda collect some material of these animals so that we might have a look at the internal anatomy.

I also thought that I would send my comments on Hypselodoris carnea versus H. capensis. Externally, they are extremely difficult to tell apart. The two things that I use is that H. carnea tends to have an opaque white body color, while H. capensis is more translucent, almost pink (probably due to the viscera) showing through the translucent body. H. carnea often has more dark brown pigment patches, while black spots are usually the only dark pigment in H. capensis. H. capensis is usually larger than H. carnea. The two are also pretty well isolated geographically. H. capensis is found almost exclusively in temperate south African waters from Cape Town to about Port Elizabeth. In Natal, where Valda has been finding animals, H. carnea is the only species that we have found there. However, there is probably some seasonal variation depending on current pattern and climate, just as you see off the Australian coast.

All the best wishes for the holidays,

Gosliner, T., 1999 (Dec 15) New finds from South Africa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Terry,
Thanks for all your comments. I'll repeat a few bits of your message on the relevant species pages, just to make it easier to refer to.


South Africa