February 26, 2007
From: David Cothran
Here's one more from the same dive today at Grass Island. I really have no idea about this one - at first I thought a tiny Austrodoris, but that doesn't seem right on a close look.
It was quite small, about 10 mm, and swinging around while attached only by the distal end of it's foot, so this was the best shot I could manage.
Locality Details: Grass Island, Stromness Harbor, South Georgia, Southern Ocean. 16 meters. Length 10 mm. 24 February 2007. Rock wall. Photo: David Cothran
Thanks again for your help.
firstname.lastname@example.orgCothran, D.B., 2007 (Feb 26) Aegires albus from Antarctica. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/19539
This is Aegires albus. It is a nice find because as far as I know this is the first published photo of this species alive. It is similar in shape to other species of Aegires but one difference is that it still possesses a distinctive mantle edge which is absent in other species. Odhner (1934) considered the presence of a mantle edge to be enough erect a separate genus Anaegires, but Wägele (1987) reviewed the anatomy Aegires albus, and Odhner's type species of Anaegires, A. protectus, and decided that neither the new genus nor its type species were warranted.
Species of Aegires feed on calcareous sponges, so I suspect its presence amongst, what I assume are colonial ascidians, is a coincidence. If you get the opportunity, it would be interesting to know if Aegires albus also eats calcareous sponges.
This species has only been recorded from the Antarctic Peninsula, the Ross Sea and the Weddell Sea (Wägele 1987).