February 15, 2006
From: Brian Francisco
We think this animal is in the family Aeolidiidae, perhaps a juvenille species of Cerberilla. The individual was quite small.
Locality: Sandy Bottom, 14 meters, East Timor, Banda Sea, 10 February 2006, sandy slope. Length: approx 1 cm. Photographer: Brian Francisco
Thanks for your help.
firstname.lastname@example.orgFrancisco, B., 2006 (Feb 15) Cerberilla albopunctata from East Timor. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/15825
This is indeed a Cerberilla, and I think it is Cerberilla albopunctata, a species previously only recorded from Japan. Your animal desn't have the distinct colour markings on the oral tentacles you can see on Japanese specimens, but I suspect that is because your animal is a juvenile.
If it is the same, does that mean it has just arrived in Esat Timor? I doubt it, the most likely explanation is that not many people have been looking at these animals in your part of the world previously. Since they spend much of their time buried in the sand, they are not the first thing seen by reef divers