Spurilla australis from Victoria

January 9, 1999
From: Jane Breidahl

I am a very keen 'pier diver' and was very excited to find my first Spurilla australis under Portsea pier two days ago. It was in about 6 metres of water and was amongst a brown seaweed. I was actually looking for sea hares which are mating at the moment. I dive with a very keen (and talented) photographer - Glenys Greenwood. Neither of us had seen this species here before, though we have found Spurilla macleayi on rare occasions. We always 'hit the books' when we come home from a dive and with Bob Burn always keen to help us and a good microscope for accurate identification, we usually do pretty well. I wonder if the distinctly pulsating white area that we observed behind the rhinophores is the ducts that you refer to in your june message?. It seemed as though there was something like a heartbeat going on here. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your page and will look at it again.
Jane Breidahl


Breidahl, J., 1999 (Jan 9) Spurilla australis from Victoria. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/455

Dear Jane,
Good to get a record from Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. Any other sea slug observations from Victoria would be welcome. If Glenys has any photographs she would like to share with the world I would be happy to put them on the Slug Forum.

The pulsating white lump you mention is indeed the heart. The fine ducts can really only be seen easily if they contain brown zooxanthellae. They form a network all over the body in areas which are exposed to sunlight.
Best wishes,

Rudman, W.B., 1999 (Jan 9). Comment on Spurilla australis from Victoria by Jane Breidahl. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/455


Spurilla australis

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