October 23, 2000
From: Eric Sterns
A friend of mine has a marine aquarium with a sump full of algae. He has a few nudibranchs in there that he believes are algae eaters. He says that they are green. All of my references say that nudibranchs are exclusively carnivorous. Are there any known species they feed on algae? I have never seen them, so I can't describe them other than what he told me. He knows the difference between a nudibranch and some other type of opisthobranch, and he believes that they are actually eating the Caulerpa, but is it possible that they are eating something that grows on the Caulerpa?
firstname.lastname@example.orgSterns, E., 2000 (Oct 23) Nudibranch that eats algae?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3221
It's a bit hard to say anything very sensible without a photo, drawing or description. However if these things are green and associated with Caulerpa the chances are that they are not nudibranchs but sacoglossan sea slugs, which are herbivores. Some have shells and some have lost them completely and do look like nudibranchs.
Have a look at the correspondence I have been having with Ron Dahrling on this very topic. Your friend's mystery animal may not be Oxynoe but it is probably a sacoglossan. As I suggested to him have a look at the animals listed under the Order Sacoglossa in the Species List to get an idea of their range of shape and colour.
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