July 15, 2002
From: Audrey Falconer
Concerning John Chuk's message about Aplysiopsis cf. formosa. I have seen this species in two locations in Victoria - at Point Lonsdale and at Portsea. Bob Burn has confirmed that these are indeed Aplysiopsis formosa. Here are some photos of it taken by my husband Leon Altoff.
Location: Between Portsea Pier and Point Franklin. Date: 9 February 2002
A snorkeller brought up an old, heavily encrusted snail Cabestana spengleri from shallow water (just over knee deep at low tide) with a clump of weed aproximately 5cm in diameter on the back. I picked a couple of slugs off the weed and then put all the weed in a vial so that I could count the slugs - in total there were 10 slugs and numerous egg "ribbons" (More like egg sausage-jellies) on the clump of weed. The slugs obviously got stressed in the vial and many of the cerata fell off - one was almost "naked"! The other photos show the slugs I took off the weed in the field and put in a separate vial to keep them good for photos, and there are closeups of an egg ribbon on the weed.
Falconer, A., 2002 (Jul 15) Aplysiopsis cf. formosa from Victoria, Australia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/7487
As we have seen with Sohgenia, sacoglossans are very like aeolids in their habit of dropping their cerata when stressed. [See Autotomy page]. I have posted your egg photos in a separate message.
Concerning the identity of this animal. Considering the situation we have with Placida dendritica and its apparent look-alikes worldwide, I think its best to call this animal Aplysiopsis cf. formosa until someone has a look at its anatomy. A. formosa was first described from Morocco and has since been reported from the Azores in the central Atlantic, and as A. zebra from the Caribbean. If these animals from southern Australia are indeed the same species, then the populations in either the Atlantic or southern Australia must have been established by artificial means.
Aplysiopsis cf. formosa from eastern Australia
From: Rachel Przeslawski, November 26, 2002
Re: Aplysiopsis cf. formosa from Victoria, Australia
From: Kathe R. Jensen, July 22, 2002
Identity of Aplysiopsis cf. formosa
From: Bill Rudman, July 22, 2002
Egg ribbon of Aplysiopsis cf. formosa
From: Audrey Falconer, July 15, 2002
Aplysiopsis formosa? from S.E. Australia
From: John Chuk, June 21, 2002