Cadlinella ornatissima from New Zealand

April 5, 2001
From: Gareth Jones

Hi Bill,
I am sending you photos of a couple of nudibranchs I've seen recently. I think this one is Cadlinella ornatissima. I photographed it at the Poor Knights Islands (northeastern new Zealand) during March, 2001 at about 25m. Water temp 21C.

The other one, which I am sending separately is I think Plocamopherus imperialis

Gareth Jones

Jones, G., 2001 (Apr 5) Cadlinella ornatissima from New Zealand. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Gareth,
These are two interesting finds. Especially Cadlinella ornatissima which is, to my knowledge, the first record of this species from New Zealand.

Each year it seems that more species of molluscs, normally found in southeastern Australia or tropical waters, are being recorded from northern New Zealand. This probably reflects a greater population of interested divers than a change in global climatic conditions. The presence of these species in New Zealand is probably like their presence in New South Wales - chance settlement of larvae when conditions are good, rather than evidence of stable, self-sustaining populations.

Building up information on the presence of shelled molluscs has been relatively easy, because the shell can be collected, and later examined and identified by experts. It has been more difficult to build up records of which nudibranchs occur in northern New Zealand, because collecting and preserving specimens for future study is a time-consuming task which most amateurs are understandably reluctant to get involved in. Unless photographs are taken, there has been no easy way to confirm possible sightings. So photos like yours are invaluable. Thanks again, and any other photos are very welcome
best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Apr 5). Comment on Cadlinella ornatissima from New Zealand by Gareth Jones. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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