More on Tyrinna nobilis from Tristan da Cunha

December 1, 2009
From: Sue Scott

Dear Bill,

Following up on my earlier message on Tyrinna nobilis here are some photos of it from Nightingale Island, which is about 25 miles from Tristan da Cunha [message #22796].

One photo shows two mating pairs. The egg ribbons were found on the same dive where the only substantial nudis seen were Tyrinna. Not proof of course, as I didn't see them actually laying

Nightingale Island, Tristan da Cunha, British Overseas Territory, South Atlantic Ocean, 2004-2007. site N7 East Landing (approx.37 25'00.3''S, 12 28' 28.64''W) Photographer: Sue Scott.

Sue Scott

Scott, S., 2009 (Dec 1) More on Tyrinna nobilis from Tristan da Cunha. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Sue,

Thanks for these photos.  I can't wait for your next visit. perhaps you will find Tyrinna on its food sponge. At present I suspect it feeds on a dysideid sponge because natural products chemists have isolated a sesquiterpene molecule from its mantle tissue, a molecule usually found in dysideid sponges.

While we can't be sure of the origin of the egg ribbons, they certainly fit the published description and drawing (Muniain et al, 1996) of its egg ribbon except for one feature - the direction of spiral. In the days of film cameras, photos were often reversed in various copying and printing processes and usually only noticed by people familar with the direction of shell and egg ribbon spirals. I am not sure if you used a film camera or a digital camera or if Muniain et al did. It is also possible that both of you have recorded the spirality correctly and this isn't the egg ribbon of Tyrinna nobilis.

Any clues or corrections welcome

  • Muniain, C., A. Valdés, et al. (1996). Redescription of Tyrinna nobilis Bergh,1898 (Opisthobranchia: Chromodorididae) from Patagonia, Argentina. Journal of Molluscan Studies 62: 265-273.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2009 (Dec 1). Comment on More on Tyrinna nobilis from Tristan da Cunha by Sue Scott. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Tyrinna nobilis