Re: Information about Aeolidia papillosa

November 4, 2002
From: Peter H. van Bragt

Hello Bill,
Concerning Moria's query: I have send this message to Moria. Maybe you want to post it on the Forum as well?

Dear Moria,
I am a Nudibranch observer in the Netherlands and so I cannot give you any numbers or information on the presence of A. papillosa in Puget Sound. But it is a common species in the Netherlands. In the estuary in the South-west of the Netherlands we have three different types of marine waters: brackish non-tidal, salt water (3.2% NaCl) non-tidal and Saltwater (3.2%) tidal waters. In these three waters we see a remarkable difference in the presence of A. papillosa and the related species Aeolidiella glauca. A. papillosa is mostly present in the tidal saltwater area. It seems to feed here mainly on the sea anemones Metridium senile and Sagartia troglodytes. I cannot give you precise details on the numbers but it is a common species which can be found throughout the year, but it is most abundant during late winter, spring (mating season) and early summer. A. glauca is also common here, mainly present in spring, summer and early fall but numbers are smaller.

In the saltwater non-tidal area A. glauca is more common than A. papillosa, which is present in much smaller numbers than in the tidal area. Both anemones on which it feeds are also less abundant here. In the brackish waters, where the food is even less abundant, we hardly find any specimen of these species. Therefore I would like to conclude that the presence of A. papillosa, but also other nudibranchs (and this is obviously a known parameter) is directly linked to the presence of available food sources. The presence of these food sources are of course also linked to various parameters like, salt concentration, tidal water, water temperatures, food sources etc. etc. shows a distribution map of A. papillosa in the Netherlands. shows a distribution map of A. glauca in the Netherlands shows the seasonal distribution of A. papillosa in the Oosterschelde (tidal) and Grevelingenmeer (non tidal) shows the seasonal distribution of A. glauca in the Oosterschelde (tidal) and Grevelingenmeer (non tidal)

I hope this information can help you with your project.
With best regards
Peter H. van Bragt

van Bragt, P.H., 2002 (Nov 4) Re: Information about Aeolidia papillosa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks very much Peter,
I am glad to post your note to Moria. I certainly encourage the sharing of substantial contributions such as this by posting them on the Forum. Answering ecological essay questions like this about marine animals is very difficult for students. Once you get past the obvious parameters, such as food and water, discussing the importance of other possible parameters in limiting population size becomes almost metaphysical in its complexity because of the difficulty in defining what constitutes a 'population'.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman


Aeolidia papillosa

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