Bulla quoyii
Gray in Dieffenbach, 1843

Family: Bullidae


New Zealand - North Island, and extreme north of South Island. Australia - temperate regions from central New South Wales to Western Australia.


Tauranga Harbour, New Zealand, July 2003. Photo: Paul Furneaux.

The heavily calcified external shell, can be mottled with various shades of brown, but is often a fairly uniform greyish brown. There are strong spiral grooves around the base of the shell. The animal is similar in shape to that of Bulla ampulla with the posterior edge of the head shield deeply cleft to form a pair of large flaps which partially cover the leading edge of the shell. The anterior corners of the head shield are developed into prominent enrolled tentacles which channel water down each side of the head over the chemosensory Hancock's Organs. The animal is a bright yellow-orange with paler mottlings.

This animal seems to be an intertidal species, or at the most extending into the shallow sub-littoral. Populations can be found on a variety of sheltered shores, from silty mud to coarse shell sand, and at times to rocky intertidal platforms covered with coralline algal turf. It feed primarily on filamentous green algae, but sometimes will also eat Ulva. It also appears to scrape the diatomaceous film off the leaves of sea-grasses. The spawn is very recognisable. It consists of an ovoid blob filled with jelly-like mucus in which the eggs are arranged in a spiral string. The eggs are an orange-red colour. The animal grows to about 60mm in length.

• Rudman,W.B.(1971). Structure and functioning of the gut in the Bullomorpha (Opisthobranchia). Part 1. Herbivores. Journal of Natural History, 5: 647-675.
• Willan, R.C. (1978) The nomenclature of three Pacific Bulla species. Journal of the Malacological Society of Australia, 4(2): 57-68.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2003 (August 31) Bulla quoyii Gray in Dieffenbach, 1843. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/bullquoy

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