March 4, 2000
From: Yasuhiro Shirai
Thank you for your earlier replies.
This time, I attach 2 image files. I think these animals are similar to Ercolania boodleae.
Usually I find Ercolania boodleae, on rocks with algae or moss. But these animals are usually on seaweed (Valonia macrophysa). I think these animals eat Valonia macrophysa. When they are attacked, they cut off their cerata themselves.
Are they Ercolania boodleae?
Location: Shima Pref. Mie, Japan (Kii Peninsula, east coast)
Water temperature: 14C
Date Jan.2000 - Feb.2000
Crawling on seaweed (Valonia macrophysa).
firstname.lastname@example.orgShirai, Y., 2000 (Mar 4) Ercolania boodleae? on Valonia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/2024
I am pretty sure these are Ercolania boodleae. They look very similar to the paintings in Baba's Opisthobranchs of Sagami Bay. Baba & Hamatani (1970) state that this species is associated with green algae such as Chaetomorpha, Ulva, Enteromorpha, and Boodlea. I suspect your animals are not eating Valonia but feeding on tiny epiphytic filamentous green algae which grow on Valonia.
There is a very interesting sacoglossan that feeds on Valonia. Each 'bubble' of the algae is a giant cell and this sacoglossan is found inside the cell feeding on the cell contents. It has recently been named Ercolania endophytophaga by Kathe Jensen but is very difficult to find without collecting lots of Valonia and taking it back to the lab for examination.
Pacific Russian Ercolania boodleae
From: A. V. Chernyshev & A.V. Ratnikov, April 14, 2005
Re: Ercolania boodleae? on Valonia
From: Kathe R. Jensen, May 25, 2000
Food of Ercolania boodleae
From: Yasuhiro Shirai, March 20, 2000
Re: Ercolania boodleae from Japan
From: Yasuhiro Shirai, February 18, 2000
Ercolania boodleae? from Japan
From: Yasuhiro Shirai, February 14, 2000