Tambja verconis in Broulee, New South Wales

November 29, 2007
From: Matthew Sullivan

I found this Nembrotha??? species at Broulee in southern New South Wales on 01 March 2007 in about 4-5 metres of water. It was less than 25 mm in length.

Locality: Broulee, 5 m, New South Wales, Australia, Pacific Ocean, 01 March 2007. Length: 25 mm. Photographer: Matthew Sullivan.

Can you help with identifying it? No one that I've talked to has seen anything similar before in this area.



Sullivan, M., 2007 (Nov 29) Tambja verconis in Broulee, New South Wales. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21215

Dear Matthew,

This animal is related to Nembrotha, but while species of that genus feed on ascidians, your animal is Tambja verconis which feeds on bryozoans. In the close up alongside you will see some blue plant-like growths at the top left. They are small branches of the bryozoan Bugula dentata which T. verconis eats. As you will see from the Fact Sheet and attached messages, this species is found around southern Australia and northern New Zealand. On the east coast of Australia it has been found as far north as Port Stephens, but as it is dependent on Bugula for its food, its is never a permanent resident anywhere, its presence being controlled by the irregular appearance and disappearance of its food.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Nov 29). Comment on Tambja verconis in Broulee, New South Wales by Matthew Sullivan. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21215


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