Opisthobranch egg masses

October 7, 2000
From: Phanor Montoya

Dear Bill:

Could you identify these egg masses? They were are all found on the brown alga Dictyota dichotoma.


Montoya, P., 2000 (Oct 7) Opisthobranch egg masses. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3105

Dear Phanor,
Although in rare cases, such as in the dorid genus Rostanga, it is possible to identify egg masses to individual species, in most cases its is difficult to be sure.
Of your three egg masses:

• UPPER RIGHT: I am pretty sure this is a Sea Hare egg mass, probably a species of Aplysia or possibly Bursatella leachii.
• LOWER LEFT: This is hard to see but seems to be a fine string wrapped around the alga. I suspect it is an aeolid egg string.
• LOWER RIGHT: Could be an elysiid sacoglossan or a species of Nudibanch dorid.

As I said I can't give much more than a guess. That's why I am always asking for photos of animals laying eggs. It is the only way we will ever build up enough information to make identifying eggs to a species level, a real possibility.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Oct 7). Comment on Opisthobranch egg masses by Phanor Montoya. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3105

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