Bonisa nakaza from South Africa

February 7, 2003
From: Rudolph van Jaarsveld

Dear Bill,
Attached please find more photos taken this year off Simon Town in False Bay, South Africa [January 2003]. I am very interested in these small creatures. I would like some guidance in identifying them.

I have tried to use the Sea slug website but because I do not know the scientific names, I battle. Please give me some assistance. What do I do to identify a nudibranch if I only have a picture of it? Thanks very much for the response to my first photo . Knowing more about the animal in my photo means much more than just having the picture.

Rudolph van Jaarsveld

Van Jaarsveld, R., 2003 (Feb 7) Bonisa nakaza from South Africa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Rudolph,
These photos are both of Bonisa nakaza, a beautiful species known only from the Cape Region of South Africa. Like all zephyrinid nudibranchs, it feeds on colonial bryozoans.

Concerning difficulties in identifying species on the Forum. I am in the process of adding a couple of keys to the Forum which should help. One will be a simple database query system where you will be able to ask for all the nudibranchs on the Forum with red spots, or all the chromodorids with yellow spots, and you will be rewarded with a page of thumbnail photos to choose from or browse. The other resource will be an interactive 'key' which hopefully will enable you to identify your mystery to any level from species to order.

However, one point of the Forum is to share finds and problems, so I think we would lose if the Forum to become a total 'self-service' identification centre, because we would lose all the new and interesting records that are at present posted for all to share. So don't hesitate to send in your queries - we all learn from the experience.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Feb 7). Comment on Bonisa nakaza from South Africa by Rudolph van Jaarsveld. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Bonisa nakaza

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