South Africa. Known only from Oudekraal on the Atlantic coast of Cape Peninsula to Port Elisabeth (Gosliner, 1987).
Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Photo: Charles Rowe.
The animals are translucent greyish brown, with red or brown digestive gland ducts colouring the cerata. There is also a most distinctive pattern of opaque white lines. There is a white line running along the dorsal surface of each oral tentacle which join on the head just in front of the rhinophores. Each ceras has an anterior and posterior white line running along its length, and there is another white line running along the dorsal midline, from the posterior tip of the foot forward some distance. The rhinophores are relatively short and are described as 'rugose', meaning they have small rounded irregular bumps all over them. The animals are extremely active and bristle their cerata when disturbed. It grows to 43 mm in length.
Gosliner, T.M. & Griffiths, R.J. (1981) Description and revision of some South African aeolidacean Nudibranchia (Mollusca, Gastropoda). Annals of the South African Museum, 84(2): 105-150.
Gosliner, T.M. (1987) Nudibranchs of Southern Africa, a guide to the Opisthobranchs of southern Africa. Sea Challengers, Monterey. 136 pages.
Thiele, J. 1925. Gastropoda der Deutschen Tiefsee--Expedition. II Teil. Wissenschaftliche ergebnisse der Deutschen Tiefsee-
expedition auf dem Dampfer "Valdivia" 1898-1899, 17(2):38-382, pls.13-46. [Nudibranchia pp. 284-288, pls. 33-34]
Rudman, W.B., 2005 (January 28) Flabellina capensis (Thiele, 1925). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/flabcape