Trapania aurata in East Timor

September 4, 2006
From: Brian Francisco

Note added 12 March 2008: This is probably the species which has recently been named Trapania vitta as it lacks orange on the dorso-lateral processes but differs in having orange on anterior foot corners.

Hi Bill

We believe this is Trapania aurata.

Locality: Tasi Tolu, 13 meters, East Timor, Banda Sea, 2 September 2006, Sandy slope. Length: 6 mm. Photographer: Brian Francisco.


Francisco, B., 2006 (Sep 4) Trapania aurata in East Timor. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Brian,
Yes this is T. aurata. One interesting thing is that it is on this dysideid sponge. As you will see if you look a the other species of Trapania on the Forum is that they are often found on similar sponges. In my earlier message on this species [#3774] - where I mistakenly identify the sponge as an aplysillid - I mention the little whitish blobs on stalks which are probably the entoproct food of the nudibranch. If you look carefully at your photos you will see small out of focus white blobs which are most likely the same thing. It seems all species of Trapania feed on entoprocts living on these sponges.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (Sep 4). Comment on Trapania aurata in East Timor by Brian Francisco. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Trapania vitta

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