Aphelodoris varia laying eggs

June 28, 2003
From: Leanne & David Atkinson

Dear Bill,
On the 7 June 2003 we found multiple couples of Aphelodoris varia, which is very common in our area, laying eggs. The Forum didn't have any egg laying photos so here are some to add to the site. The couple that are very different in colour were found in 8metres on a growth covered rock. The like coloured pair were found in 14 metres on a damaged orange barrel sponge. They were both laying and the sponge was covered in multiple egg rings. The water clarity was poor that day down to 5 metres viz at times.

Location: Fly Point, Marine Reserve, Port Stephens, NSW, S.E. Australia
Time: 1.50pm Tide: High 1.3m W.Temp: 17 degrees c

Leanne & David Atkinson


Dear Leanne & David,
I think this is the first time the egg ribbon of Aphelodoris varia has been reported so this is a very valuable contribution. from the large size of the individual eggs I would guess that this specis has either direct development, where the larvae hatch out of the egg capsule as small crawling slugs, or perhaps lecithotrophic non-feeding veliger larvae, which swim in the plankton for a short time before settling down as crawling slugs. Either type of development would help explain the large local populations which are often found. When larvae don't have an extended period in the plankton, they often don't get the opportunity to move far from where they were eggs.
Best wishes
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Jun 28). Comment on Aphelodoris varia laying eggs by Leanne & David Atkinson. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10328


Aphelodoris varia

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