October 20, 2001
From: Bill Rudman
PHOTOS: On Caulerpa brownii. West Head, Flinders, Westernport Bay, Victoria, Australia, March 1986, AM C149520. Shells range in length form 2-5mm. PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.
Here is another of the three bivalved gastropods, Edenttellina typica, commonly found in southeeastern Australia. When observed on its algal food (see photo) the remarkable resemblance its mantle colour has to its food is very obvious. When it is nestled into the alga it is almosy invisible. Many of these bivalved sacoglossans are a uniform green colour and live on species of Caulerpa, such as C. racemosa, which have relatively large fluid filled 'bladders.' In these species, the shape and size of the shell matches the diameter of the bladders very well enabling them to disguise their presence very well with out colour enhancements. It is interesting that another species from southeastern Australia Midorigai australis has an elaborate colour pattern which helps it to mimic the the very small bladders of Caulerpa simpliciuscula on which it feeds. See also the page on Tamanovalva babai.
• Burn, R.F. (1960) A bivalve gastropod. Nature, 186 (4719): 179.
• Burn, R.F. (1960) Australian bivalve gastropods. Nature, 187 (4731): 44-46.
• Burn, R.F. (1965) Rediscovery and taxonomy of Edenttellina typica Gatliff and Gabriel. Nature, 206 (4985): 735-736.
• Burn, R. (1989) Chapter 12 Opisthobranchs (Subclass Opisthobranchia). In: Shepherd, S.A. & Thomas, I.M. (Editors) Marine Invertebrates of Southern Australia Part 2, South Australian Government Printer, Adelaide.
• Gatliff, J.H. & Gabriel, C.J. (1911) On some new species of Victorian marine mollusca. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, 24: 189-192.
• Hedley, .C (1912) Descriptions of some new or noteworthy shells in the Australian Museum. Records of the Australian Museum, 8(3): 131-160 + pls.
• Hedley, C. (1920) Concerning Edentellina. Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London, 14(2-3): 74-76.