Polycera hedgpethi
Marcus, 1964

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Polyceridae
Subfamily: Polycerinae


Natural distribution unknown. First described from California, where it is found from Marin County, California to Baja California, Mexico. It is also known from port regions in South Africa, West Africa, northern New Zealand, and in Australia from Mallacoota, (northern Victoria), Sydney (New South Wales) and one report from Albany (Western Australia). Also recorded from the Mediterranean (See below), Spain, and Japan.


Botany Bay, Sydney, New South Wales, June 1980, on bryozoan growth fouling the bottom of a mussel raft. Lower photo on bryozoan, Bugula sp. Length 15mm.
PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.

A typical Polycera, it has a frontal veil bearing 4-6 pointed processes which are white-tipped with an upper band of gray-black and a lower one of yellow. Its body is covered with black or grey speckling. The ridges between rhinophores and gills, and gill to tail are clear of specks and appear white to yellow. The rhinophore club has a black lower, and a yellow upper band, and the gills are grey or blackish with yellow tips. The extra-branchial appendages are similar in colour to the anterior frontal veil processes.

Polycera hedgpethi is an interesting member of the fouling community associated with the bryozoan Bugula. Its present distribution around major seaports on the edge of the Indo-West Pacific suggest its present distribution is the result of shipping rather than natural causes. A similar story is found with Thecacera pennigera. It grows to 20-25mm long. It has a wide spiral egg ribbon with small white eggs.

• Behrens, D.W. (1980) Pacific Coast Nudibranchs. A guide to the opisthobranchs of the northeastern Pacific. Sea Challengers. Los Osos, California
• Caballer, M. & Ortea, J. (2002) Primera cita de Polycera hedgpethi Marcus, 1964 (Mollusca: Opisthobranchia) para la Península Ibérica. Noticiario SEM, 37: 55-56.
• Cervera, J.L. et al. 1988 (1991). Polycera hedgpethi Marcus, 1964 (Gastropoda; Nudibranchia), una especie indopacifica descubierta en el Mediterraneo. Iberus, 8(2): 225-231.
• Marcus, E.R. (1964). A new species of Polycera (Nudibranchia) from California. The Nautilus, 77(4): 128-131
• .Miller, M.C. (2001) Descriptions of the Dorid nudibranchs Polycera hedgpethi Marcus, 1964 and P. fujitai Baba, 1937 in New Zealand (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia). Journal of Molluscan Studies, 67: 489-497.
• Valles, Y., Valdes, A. & Ortea, J. (2000) On the phanerobranch dorids of Angola (Mollusca, Nudibranchia): a crossroads of temperate and tropical species. Zoosystema, 22(1): 15-31.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (July 22) Polycera hedgpethi Marcus, 1964. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/polyhedg

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