Aeolid from King George Island, Antarctica

March 16, 2007
From: Bill Rudman

In a recent message [#19656],  Michael Schroedl mentioned Dirk Schories' website with nudibranch photos from King George Island, Antarctica.

One animal illustrated is the species in David Cothran's message [#19540] and which has been identified as Notaeolidia gigas by Norbert Wu [#19612]. When I saw Dirk's photos they clealry show that this is not a species of Notaeolidia. Dirk has kindly allowed me to post his photos on the Forum.

What these photos show is that the cerata are arranged in distinct transverse rows on each side of the body, with up to five cerata in each row,  Compare this with photos of Notaeolidia gigas [message #19679] in which there is a distinct mantle 'skirt' and the cerata, arranged in irregular rows, are confined inside the 'skirt'. One other clear distinction is the very long smooth rhinophores in this species, quite different from the shorter wrinkled rhinophores in all photos of Notaeolidia I have seen. There also seems to be a tentacular anterior foot corner [propodial tentacle] in this aeolid, like the one in Flabellina falklandica [message #19656 ].

Locality:  Napier Rock, Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctica. Upper photo:  08 February 2003. Lower photos: 12 February 2003. Photos: Dirk Schories. [ ]

I doubt if this aeolid is identifiable without an anatomical study. Looking at Norbert Wu's photos it seems the upper photo is this unidentified species, and the lower photo is Notaeolidia gigas [#19612]. I will change the photos on the Fact Sheet to stop further confusion. Despite being unable to name this species, it is nice to be able to resolve the confusion.

Best wishes
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Mar 16) Aeolid from King George Island, Antarctica. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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