Chemical defence in Costasiella

March 24, 1999
From: Bill Rudman

While looking at literature on Costasiella I came across the following abstract on chemical defence in an unnamed species of Costasiella from India. I thought this was of particular interest following Clay Carlson & Patty Jo Hoff's comment that most species of Costasiella in Guam feed on Avrainvillea. I quote part of the abstract below:

Chemical Defence of the specialist ascoglossan Costasiella sp. from the Indian Coast.
"... The present study records the distribution of the herbivorous ascoglossan molluscs, Cosatasiella sp. feeding exclusively on the chemically defended green algae Avrainvillea erecta. This algae contains avrainvilleol, a brominated diphenyl methane derivative which deters herbivores ... known palatable algae coated with the diethyl ether extracts of both Avrainvillea and Costasiella deterred herbivorous fishes significantly. ... Either the whole organism or the egg mass of Costasiella was avoided by carnivorous fish.

Padmakumar, K. 1996. Chemical Defence of the specialist ascoglossan Costasiella sp. from the Indian Coast. Proceedings of the 6th Workshop of the Tropical Marine Mollusc Programme (TMMP). Phuket Marine Biological Center Special Publication, 16: 326.

Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 1999 (Mar 24). Comment on Chemical defence in Costasiella by Bill Rudman. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Costasiella sp. 1.

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