Aeolidia papillosa? from southern Oregon

March 1, 2007
From: Sandy Grummon

My husband and I were on the southern Oregon coast (Pacific Coast, USA) at Meyers Creek Beach during a good low tide this past July. We saw this nudibranch, and thought it looked a lot like an Aeolidia papillosa, except the coloring seemed wrong. I've looked through your archive photos, and the Aeolidia papillosa look mauve or gray color. Also, it was stranded alone in a depression in the sand, not among any aggregated anemone (Anthopleura elegantissima).

Locality: Meyers Creek Beach near the town of Gold Beach, About 3 inches of water, Oregon, USA, Pacific Ocean, 29 July 2006, Rocky intertidal. Length: Approximately 2 inches. Photographer: Bryan Grummon.

P.S. This is a GREAT website!

Sandy Grummon

Grummon, S., 2007 (Mar 1) Aeolidia papillosa? from southern Oregon. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Hi Sandy,

Thanks for adding to the confusion - Only kidding.

Aeolidia papillosa is certainly one of the most common species found around the world in temperate seas. Its color appears to be quite variable, depending upon locale and food resources. While the white stripes along the edge of each ceras are new to me, the remaining external characteristics suggest that your ID is correct.

Currently I am investigating the northern Pacific variant shown in recent messages to the Forum [#12014;  #13178; #19141 ]. It is possible, that due to the size of the northern, dark color animals might be a species described by Rudolph Bergh in 1894 as Aeolidia herculea. I am afraid we will have to wait for the results of this study. In the mean time, it is best to call all the colors on this coast Aeolidia papillosa.

Dave Behrens

Behrens, D.W., 2007 (Mar 1). Comment on Aeolidia papillosa? from southern Oregon by Sandy Grummon. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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