Hypselodoris bullocki colour group (1)

April 9, 2002
From: Bernard Picton

Hi Bill,
Looking at Hypselodoris bullocki on the Forum I don't see any pictures of the large form of this "species" (colour group?) which I have seen many times in Indonesia. These animals are typically 6cm long, the gills and rhinophores are orange, and spots of background purple/pink colour break through the white marginal band which gradually fades away towards the centre of the mantle. I've seen these animals mating and the large ones I have seen have all been this colour form in Bali, Hoga, and Sipadan Is.

Pictures of this form:
chrbul2 - Kubu, East coast Bali, Mar 1989
chrbul3 - Hoga, SE Sulawesi, October 1997
chrbul4 - NW Bali, March 1996
chrbul5 - Hoga, SE Sulawesi, October 1997

Compare these with the photo of a small form I have sent in a separate message. I'm sure these are different species, perhaps we should take a "precautionary principle" approach with these and consider different colour forms to be a mimicry/colour group until proven otherwise. If you had not started this approach with the "quadricolor" colour group we would never have got to
where we are now; ie. a better understanding of the species involved ;-) !
Looking at the pictures in Debelius there may be as many as six species shown there in my opinion, there is a picture of the small form I describe here (also mating) on the front cover.
Bernard

bernard.picton.um@nics.gov.uk

Picton, B. , 2002 (Apr 9) Hypselodoris bullocki colour group (1). [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/6429

Thanks Bernard,
I am sure you are probably right. I have just continued to 'lump' them together as the "H. bullocki group' in the hope that someone would study them as a group and not see them picked off one by one by people more interested in naming a new species than in understanding what is going on in the group. The problem with the 'one at a time approach' is that someone else is still left to do the real work of sorting out the complex, looking at limits of colour variation etc.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

PS: [I'm sorry to say this is one of the messages that got stuck in the backlog. You will see that since you sent it I have posted a photo of this form from Indonesia from Tony Wu.]

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (Apr 9). Comment on Hypselodoris bullocki colour group (1) by Bernard Picton . [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/6429

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