Cuthona kuiteri
Rudman, 1981

Family: Tergipedidae


Known only from New South Wales, eastern Australia


Upper: Ventral view to show the remarkable cerata which mimic the hydroid polyps on which it feeds. Green Point, Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia, September 1979. Photo: John Fields. Lower: Drawing of  animal on sponge with associated hydroids. Bill Rudman.


Defensive colouration in sea slugs

Cuthona kuiteri has only been found associated with Zyzzyzus spongicola, which is a solitary tubularian hydroid which lives partially buried in sponge colonies. In a unique type of mimicry the aeolid has evolved cerata which mimic the polyps of the hydroids, with rings of both oral and aboral tentacles.

  • Rudman, W.B. (1981) Polyp mimicry in a new species of aeolid nudibranch mollusc. Journal of Zoology, London, 193: 421-427.
Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1998 (October 14) Cuthona kuiteri Rudman, 1981. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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