Re: Aeolidia papillosa spawn

August 1, 2008
From: Jackie Hildering

A group of grade 4 to 7 students from A.J. Elliot School in Sointula, British Columbia were observant enough to find Aeolidia papillosa and the species eggs. We believe they may be feeding on painted anemones (Urticina crassicornis) as we found one with a strip of painted anemone beside it (picture shows this poorly) and found the eggs beside an anemone of this species (interestingly this egg mass was pinker than the others).

Please might you be able to enlighten us how this species could feed on anemones i.e. how does it not get ingested? Does it go after the base of the anemone.

Locality: Sointula, 0 metres, British Columbia, Canada, Pacific Ocean, 9 April 2008, Intertidal. Length: 8 cm. Photographer: Jackie Hildering.

Great thanks,
Jackie Hildering

Hildering, J., 2008 (Aug 1) Re: Aeolidia papillosa spawn. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Jackie,

Thanks for sharing this. There are 100's of references in the literature reporting the many foods of Aeolidia. Urticina crassicornis is one of the many species of sea anemone it feeds on.

As you suspected, the aeolid feeds only on the stalk, not the tentacles of the anemone. Other aeolids, do feed on cnidarian polyps and tentacles, however, without becoming prey themselves.

Best wishes,
Dave Behrens

Behrens, D.W., 2008 (Aug 1). Comment on Re: Aeolidia papillosa spawn by Jackie Hildering. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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