Elysia australis
(Quoy & Gaimard, 1832)

Superfamily: ELYSIOIDEA
Family: Elysiidae


Throughout Australia


UPPER RIGHT: Coffs Harbour Region, northern New South Wales, December 1990.
LOWER LEFT: Dark 7mm long juvenile, Newport, Sydney, NSW, July 1996.
LOWER RIGHT: enlarged section showing branching of the digestive gland with clusters of chloroplasts obtained from its algal food. Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, February, 1985. PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.

Common intertidal elysiid throughout southern Australia, and recent records from Darwin suggest it occurs all around the Australian continent. Ranges in colour from a light to very dark green with various degrees of black dusting over parts of the body. The parapodia are usually edged in black and the tip of the 'tail' and rhinophores are black. The most distinctive colour feature is the black T-shape on the head consisting of a median line between the rhinophores, and a transverse line across in front of them. Sometimes the transverse line is absent. It grows to about 25mm but 10-15mm long animals are most common on intertidal rock platforms.

See References to biology, natural history and geographic distribution.

• Quoy, J.R. & Gaimard, J.P. (1832). Voyage de decouvertes de L'Astrolabe pendant les annees 1826-1827-1828-1829, sous le commandement de M.J. Dumont D'Urville, Zoologie, 2: 1-686.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2000 (September 9) Elysia australis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1832). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/elysaust

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