Ancula pacifica in Oregon and Washington

June 12, 2000
From: Jeff Goddard

Concerning the recent messages about Ancula pacifica in the northeastern Pacific. Specimens from Oregon consistently fall into two color forms:
• one with orange lines on the body (this is the one described by MacFarland and depicted in both Behrens (1991) and in Dave Behrens recent message in the Forum);
• one lacking the orange lines on the body (but, like the first form, possessing orange tipped rhinophores, accessory rhinophore papillae, gills and extrabranchial papillae). The second form is more common in Oregon and Washington, and as pointed out by Sandra Millen in this Forum, is the only form with orange pigment in British Columbia and Alaska. I have not seen the white spotted form in northern California, Oregon or Washington.

The form lacking the orange lines on the body is closest externally to Ancula gibbosa depicted by Thompson & Brown (1984), and my first guess is that they are the same species. I can't wait to hear about the results of the anatomical comparisons.

Jeff Goddard

Goddard, J., 2000 (Jun 12) Ancula pacifica in Oregon and Washington. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Ancula gibbosa

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