Hypselodoris maritima? from Western Australia

May 2, 2000
From: Jean-Paul Koninx

Dear Bill,
First of all: what a wonderful site! It is an absolute joy to wander around!
We've discovered scuba three years ago, heard a lecture on nudibranchs 1.5 yrs ago on Heron Island, got a camera half a year ago - and now we are thoroughly hooked on those lovely animals. We're seeing 'new' species on almost every dive, and it was great to end the confusion - thanks to your site - whether it was Chromodoris willani or Chromodoris lochi we saw so much on a trip last year: it actually was Chromodoris dianae!

I'd like to send some photographs from a recent dive trip to the Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth, West Australia.

The first is taken at 12m, 'Gulliver's' divelocation, March 30. The slug is small, about 1cm length. Do you have an identification?


Jean-Paul Koninx


Koninx, J-P, 2000 (May 2) Hypselodoris maritima? from Western Australia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/2284

Dear Jean-Paul,
I am glad you like the site and find it useful.

I am pretty sure this is a colour form of Hypselodoris maritima. One important feature is that the gills seem to be white with orange edges. Western Australia seems to have an interesting fauna which includes a number of what seem to be unique colour forms of Western Pacific species. In the Western Pacific, Hypselodoris maritima does not usually have such obliquely arranged black lines, and the mantle does not have such a brownish yellow appearance.

We can surmise that a population has established itself in Western Australia since the relatively recent opening of the Timor Sea across the top of Australia. Only further collecting and observations will allow us to determine whether these Western Australian 'colour forms' should be considered separate species.

There is a similarly coloured species from the Western Indian Ocean, Hypselodoris nigrolineata but that differs considerably in colour including having the gills all orange, not lined as in H. maritima.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (May 2). Comment on Hypselodoris maritima? from Western Australia by Jean-Paul Koninx. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/2284

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