Facelina lineata from Gujarat, India

November 24, 2009
From: Apte Deepak

Dear Dr. Rudman

We got this interesting species yesterday at Poshitra reef, type locality of Sakuraeolis gujaratica. Black rhinophores are so distinct. Can you help identify?

Locality: Poshitra, exposed reef, Gujarat, Arabian Sea, 15 November 2009, exposed reef. Length: 10mm. Photographer: Deepak Apte.

Deepak Apte


Dear Deepak,

It is nearly 40 years ago since I was in the Gulf of Kutch - and as I discovered, June was the wrong time of the year.  Most sensible opisthobranchs had left for cooler climes. Sakuraeolis gujaratica was one of very few finds my wife and I made. 

Your animal is Facelina lineata Eliot 1905 which was described from East Africa. I found 5 specimens identical to yours in Tanzania in the 1970s. Unfortunately Eliot described another very similarly coloured species in the same paper as Hervia lineata, which I am calling on the Forum Cratena lineata. If they turn out to belong in the same genus then one will need a name change. However until we work out just how many white-lined species there are with red marks on their head, new names are probably best left as there are possibly a number of existing ones which could be used.

For example Baba (1949) illustrates an animal he identifies as Hervia lineata but it differs from Eliot's description in having a central red spot on the head as well as the lateral ones, as found in Facelina lineata.

This is an interesting addition

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2009 (Nov 24). Comment on Facelina lineata from Gujarat, India by Apte Deepak. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/22802


Facelina lineata