February 25, 2000
From: Anne DuPont
I took this photo Saturday night, February 19, 2000, West Palm Beach, Florida in 12 feet of water. The little critter was about 3/4
inch to 1 inch long and was crawling along on the sand, in an area covered with hydroids.
Is it Learchis poica?
Thank you again for your time.
firstname.lastname@example.orgDuPont, A., 2000 (Feb 25) Learchis poica? from Florida. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/1962
Learchis poica Marcus & Marcus, 1960 was first described from preserved animals, which is always a bit of a problem for later identification. The first description of live animals by Marcus mentioned cerata covered in white blotches and a white ring in the cnidosac region. The rhinophores also have irregular rings. But no mention of the red patches on the side of the head.
Malcolm Edmunds (1964) described animals from Jamaica with red 'cheek patches' like your photo. No description mentions the orange band on the rhinophores, that your photo shows.
So basically I think its this species but I will wait for confirmation from a local expert.