Color variation in Flabellina salmonacea

March 31, 2006
From: Alan Shepard

Dear Bill -
Here is a photo of a color variation of Flabellina salmonacea. The shot was taken in August 2004 off Deer Island, New Brunswick, Canada.

According to Dr. Larry Harris the orange coloration is due to a diet consisting of burrowing and Goniactinia anemones rather than ascidians.

Dr. Harris pointed out that at one point this variation was considered Coryphella stimpsoni but was later combined with C. salmonacea (now F. salmonacea ) by Terry Gosliner and Alan Kuzirian as one species.

This is the only orange variation I've encontered in many dives in the Passamaquoddy Bay but I'm told at times there are huge numbers that coincide with explosions of the anemone prey.

Locality: Deer Island, 8 metres, New Brunswick, Canada, Passamaquoddy Bay, August 2004, cobble bottom, strong tidal flow. Length: 40mm. Photographer: Alan Shepard.

Best wishes,
Alan Shepard

Shepard, A., 2006 (Mar 31) Color variation in Flabellina salmonacea. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Alan,
Bill Rudman

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