Pleurobranchaea maculata from New Zealand

June 12, 2003
From: Paul Furneaux

Hi Bill,
Here is a photo of what I think is Pleurobranchaea novaezelandiae. This was the first of two individuals that I encountered on 28 May 2003, and it was "at rest' until I encouraged it to move for the photo in a shallow pool in the same area of Tauranga Harbour, New Zealand that I have photographed both Philinopsis taronga and Haminoea zelandiae (mid to low- intertidal area of flats that contain extensive areas of Zostera and Ulva, off the Otumoetai Peninsula within the harbour.

I was wondering about seasonal temperature change and the activity of some of these species - do cooler temperatures favour the activity of some sea slugs?
Paul Furneaux.

Furneaux, P., 2003 (Jun 12) Pleurobranchaea maculata from New Zealand. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Paul,
These species has usually been called Pleurobranchaea novaezelandiae Cheeseman, 1878 in New Zealand, but it is generally considered to be the same as the more widespread Pleurobranchaea maculata, which was named 40 years earlier.

Concerning the effect of temperature on the activity of sea slugs. I don't think there is a simple answer. Some are more abundant during the winter while others seem to prefer warmer weather. Many species have an early Spring breeding season, and some have a second, but smaller breeding season in Autumn.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Jun 12). Comment on Pleurobranchaea maculata from New Zealand by Paul Furneaux. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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