Abnormality in Nembrotha purpureolineata

March 26, 2008
From: Leanne & David Atkinson

Dear Bill,
We have come across this Nembrotha purpureolineata [formerly N. rutilans] on two dives at The Pipeline recently. It has a trifurcate rhinophore and damaged gills. It seems to be surviving quite nicely finding plenty of yellow lined ascidians to feed on. You didn't have a trifurcate rhinophore on the abnormalities page and this is the first time in over twenty years of diving we have seen this. It seems an appropriate abnormality as one of Neptune's creatures to have a trident shaped rhinophore. Thanks for your interesting work on the SeaSlug Forum we enjoy reading your daily postings and suffer withdrawals evrytime you stop for a while. Hope you had time to finish your projects.

Locality: The Pipeline, Neslon Bay, Port Stephens, 8 metres, New South Wales, Australia, Pacific Ocean, 20 October 2007 & 27 October 2007, Sitly sandy bottom, with scattered ascidians, kelp, algae, seaweed sponges, gorgonians, bryozoans and soft corals. Length: approximately 90 mm. Photographer: Leanne & David Atkinson.

Best wishes,
Leanne & David Atkinson


Atkinson, L. & D., 2008 (Mar 26) Abnormality in Nembrotha purpureolineata. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21059

Dear Leanne & David,

Thanks for this. By chance we have a record of Nembrotha kubaryana with a similar trifid rhinophore [message #16715]. Maybe Neptune has a liking for Nembrotha.  Your animal also seems to have damage to its gills, the back ones apparently having been bitten off by some predator. I note in the photo alongside, that the Nembrotha is feeding on an ascidian.  I guess it is the yellow-lined ascidian, Clavelina meridionalis which you reported on earlier [#15797]. For those of you not familiar with the way Nembrotha feeds, the slugs has inserted it white oral tube [proboscis] into the transparent tube of the ascidian, to eat the brownish body parts.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2008 (Mar 26). Comment on Abnormality in Nembrotha purpureolineata by Leanne & David Atkinson. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21059

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