Hypselodoris bayeri in Curacao

January 14, 2010
From: Terence Zahner

Hi Bill

I observed this specimen last week. It appears to match the picture of Hypselodoris cf. acriba at the bottom of page 160 of Caribbean Sea Slugs, but Curacao is not included in the geographic range.

Locality: Playa Kalki, Westpunt, 38 feet, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean Sea, 29 December 2009, Reef. Length: 30 mm (approx). Photographer: Terence Zahner.

Terence Zahner


Zahner, T.M., 2010 (Jan 14) Hypselodoris bayeri in Curacao. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/23065

Dear Terence,

If you look at the messages attached to the Hypselodoris bayeri Fact Sheet you will see that I suspect this to be a colour form of H. bayeri rather than of H. acriba [see message #22632 for example]. Unfortunately the original descriptions of these two species were not that clear, and both seem to be variable in colour, but I think my interpretation fits the descriptions better. Unfortunately a lot more fieldwork is needed before some of the identification problems with Caribbean species can be sorted out.

Whatever its name, I am interested in what sponges these nudibranchs feed on. I first thought the pink colour in your photos was a thin layer of coralline algae over the underlying rock but I noticed a sponge siphon [see top of lower left close-up] so I suspect the whole of the substrate is covered with a thin sponge layer. If by chance you have other photos taken at the same time, perhaps you could have a look and see if you have any that show the sponge in more detail?

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2010 (Jan 14). Comment on Hypselodoris bayeri in Curacao by Terence Zahner. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/23065

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