Trapania safracornia from Fremantle WA

January 24, 2007
From: Brent Murdoch

Hi Bill,

I was hoping that you could identify the attached. I have never seen them before. I watched 3 of them on a yellow sponge. They were quite small from 7 to 12 mm. They are in 4.5m of 23°C water close to Fremantle, Western Australia.

Brent Murdoch

Murdoch, B., 2007 (Jan 24) Trapania safracornia from Fremantle WA. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Brent,

I am pretty sure this is Trapania safracornia, a species we know very little about. Certainly the general colour pattern, including the rhinophores, is very similar. Species of Trapania should have a pair of recurved papillae flanking the rhinophore stalks and the gills. I can see the rhinophore ones in your photo but am not sure I can see the ones alongside the gills. If you have a photo from another angle you might be able to confirm that they are there. Species of Trapania are often found on sponges, but don't eat them.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Jan 24). Comment on Trapania safracornia from Fremantle WA by Brent Murdoch. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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