Noumea verconiforma from Heron Island

August 30, 2007
From: Julie Marshall

Dear Bill,

Attached is a photo of what seems to be Noumea verconiforma from Heron Island [Great Barrier Reef]. As the original description of this species was based on a single animal from New Caledonia it seems likely that there would be some intraspecific variation. The animal I found was coral pink in colour but has the reticulate pattern of opaque white on the mantle as described in your paper. The rhinophores and gills also match the description of N. verconiforma. The major difference is the distinct submarginal single mantle glands on the Heron Island animal.

Locality: Heron Island, 11m, Queensland, Australia, Pacific, November 1997, Subtidal. Length: 10 mm. Photographer: Julie Marshall.

I think this is the first record for this species beyond New Caledonia, and also for Australia. It was illustrated as Noumea sp. 1 in Marshall and Willan (1999).

  • Marshall, J.G. and Willan, R.C. 1999. Nudibranchs of Heron Island., Great Barrier Reef. Leiden, Backhuys Publishers.

Best wishes,
Julie Marshall

Marshall, J., 2007 (Aug 30) Noumea verconiforma from Heron Island. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Julie,
I was just preparing a message from Gary Cobb [#20577] about his find of this species in sthn Queensland, when your message arrived - it's either a remarkable co-incidence or perhaps you and Gary and Richard Willan have been doing a bit of networking? The Atkinson's Chromodorid sp. 1 is probably the same thing, and I have found it a few times in northern New South Wales. I have dissected specimens and when I get a minute I must see why I was hesitant to identify it as N. verconiforma.

My only doubt about the identityof your animal is that Noumea verconiforma wriggled or vibrated its gills backwards and forwards in a regular way, yet you state in your book that your animal did not do that.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Aug 30). Comment on Noumea verconiforma from Heron Island by Julie Marshall. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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