January 8, 2007
From: Scott Gietler
I thought I'd send in two photos of Flabellina pricei, since I've seen them on two dives recently, feeding on hydroids and mating near the Redondo submarine canyon. This nudibranch is not common in Los Angeles, but I've observed in on 3 dives in a row during the past week.
Locality: Redondo Beach, 37 feet, California, USA, Pacific Ocean, 23 December 2006, Sandy bottom. Length: 1 inch. Photographer: Scott Gietler.
Gietler, S., 2007 (Jan 8) Mating Flabellina pricei. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/19080
Hi Scott,Great photos. We really appreciate you sharing these observations. I am not certain this pair is mating as the seem juxtiposed head to head. In any event, they are definitely feeding on this hydroid colony.
Aeolids are one of the nudibranch groups that display widely varying population shifts. We believe these shifting numbers, follow the abundance of their food resources, which in your case are the hydroids (probably a species of Graveia ) shown in this closeup. When the food resouce dwindles, they lay eggs and disappear for awhile.
Bill has provided a close up here showing the detail of the annulate rhinophores of this species, and the arrangement of the cerata in ridges beginning adjacent to the rhinophores. You can also see the genital aperture in these photos.
Thanks for sharing this,