February 20, 2002
From: Daisuke Suzuki
Dear Dr Bill Rudman
Please excuse the sudden mail. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am a diving guide at Osezaki in the Izu-Hanto Peninsula, Japan.
I take photographs underwater and the other day, as I was sorting out my photographs for the first time in a while, I ran across something that I just can't seem to figure out. I even looked through some overseas Websites, but there was nothing that looked the same. So, I've taken the liberty to send you the images in hopes that you might somehow be able to check it out for me.
Photo site: Osezaki, March 2001. Water depth 12m. About 4 cm in size. In the sandy area, during the night.
Suzuki, D., 2002 (Feb 20) Cerberilla albopunctata from Japan. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/6267
This is an aeolid nudibranch belonging to the genus Cerberilla. They are probably much more common than we think because they are usually live buried in sand, often coming to the surface at night. Because they are seldom seen alive we know little about their biology and natural history but we think they feed on sand-dwelling sea anemones.
Your animal is Cerberilla albopunctata. Have a look at the Fact Sheet I have prepared for further information on the species.