Aeolidia papillosa
Page 2.

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Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (October 8) Aeolidia papillosa Page 2.. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

Aeolidia papillosa from New England

June 19, 2001
From: Paul Young

Dear Bill,
Locally this is called a 'Maned Nudibranch'.

They are common in the early Spring, south of Cape Cod. These were photographed at Fort Wetherhill, Jamestown, Rhode Island. [Atlantic coast, USA].

They eat anemones. We think they eat Metridium anemones, but in this photo they are surrounded by lined anemones so maybe they eat those too. Big ones are 3-4 cm long.

We believe this is Aeolidia papillosa.

Paul Young

Young, P., 2001 (Jun 19) Aeolidia papillosa from New England. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Paul,
Thanks for this message and the others you have just sent on nudibranchs from New England, which I will post in the next few days. It is good to get some information on the Atlantic coast of North America.

If you look at the other messages about this species you will see it is reported to feed on quite a few species of anemones.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Re: Food of Aeolidia papillosa

June 7, 2000
From: Andy Horton

Hello David and others,

Concerning the message about feeding. Aeolidia papillosa in the English Channel feed s on just about any sea anemone it is able to bite chunks out of, e.g. Metridium senile, Actinia equina, Sagartia troglodytes, have been observed being eaten. Anemonia viridis is also believed to be eaten, but no direct observations.

I already have a photograph of this nudibranch feeding on Actinia equina


Andy Horton.
British Marine Life Study Society.

Horton, A., 2000 (Jun 7) Re: Food of Aeolidia papillosa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Re: Food of Aeolidia papillosa

April 27, 2000
From: Dave Behrens

Bill & Cat,
Concerning Cats' message about what Aeolidia papillosa feeds on in California:
Animals living in California fouling communities are feeding primarily on the anemone Metridium. I have observed dozens on a single dive in the Morro Bay area feeding happily on this species. Never seen a single specimen feeding on a bryozoan however. That would be very unaeolid. Intertidally I have collected Aeolidia under rocks and boulders, not only on Anthopleura, but on Epiactis as well.
Hope this helps.
David W. Behrens

Behrens, D., 2000 (Apr 27) Re: Food of Aeolidia papillosa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Aeolidia papillosa - food in California

April 25, 2000
From: Cat Darst

Just curious... I have been searching for Aeolidia papillosa off the northern California coast (Bodega Bay) and am having a tough time finding Aeolidia in its "usual" habitat (intertidal) near its "usual prey (Anthopleura elegantissima). There are heaps of Aeolidia in the fouling community. What is it eating there? If I had to guess, I would say bryozoan. Is that possible? Could it be eating hydriod instead? It is ALWAYS on or near the bryozoan and the egg masses are frequently there as well. I am baffled?! Any information would be great!
Cat Darst

Darst, C., 2000 (Apr 25) Aeolidia papillosa - food in California. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Cat,
I have no idea how experienced you are at identifying A. papillosa so I guess the first question to ask is whether you are sure of your identification? If you could send a photo of your animal on the bryozoan and perhaps an egg ribbon photo, that would help us confirm the identity of your slug and would also be of interest to the many visitors each day to the Forum.

I am not an expert on Aeolidia papillosa, but from the quite extensive literature it seems to be an exclusive feeder on sea anemones, not even showing an interest in hydroids in at least one experiment. Have a look at the page of references on the Biology of Aeolidia papillosa for some of the feeding studies.

After saying that, I guess anything is possible. The only way to be sure would be to observe the animals on the fouling communities either in the field or in an aquarium to see what they really eat. I don't know if you have observed the communities out of water, or immersed, but it is possible that there are sea anemones in the community which only become visible when they extend in water after a period without disturbance.

If anyone from California has an answer please let us know.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Apr 25). Comment on Aeolidia papillosa - food in California by Cat Darst. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Re: Aeolidia papillosa feeding

October 16, 1999
From: Helen Marshall

I am in need of some help. I am a undergraduate marine biologist at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. In our final year we have to complete an honours project. I am hoping to base mine on Aeolidia papillosa. However,I am having great difficulties in finding any. I am in need of approximatly 20 juvenile individuals within the next few weeks!

Please can anyone help. There is a slight problem in that I have a very restricted budget!
Thank you,
Helen Marshall

Marshall, H., 1999 (Oct 16) Re: Aeolidia papillosa feeding. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Helen,
'Common' nudibranchs can be a real pain at times - never there when you want them. Thompson & Brown (1984) say they breed from January to June and spend the first few months living sublittorally. It may be worthwhile getting in touch with Andy Horton, (British Marine Life Study Society), email: or Jim Anderson, (Scottish Nudbranch Site), email:

Bill Rudman.

Amphipod commensals? on Aeolidia papillosa

October 8, 1999
From: I. Roginskaya

Dear Bill,

During my work with nudibranchs from the Commander Islands, Bering Island, Bering Sea, I discovered possible ectoparasites on the commonest species in this location – Aeolidia papillosa.

Location: near the settlement Nikolskoye; Date: 21.08.1971; Water temperature at collection site: T=10° C. Five specimens of A.papillosa. Size: 8.5, 11.5, 15.5, 16.5 and 31.5mm in living state, and a lot of their white and rosy festoon-shaped spiral spawns were found in the intertidal zone.

Among the dense cerata of two specimens of A. papillosa (8.5mm and 31.5mm long) were little amphipods (fam. Stenothoidae), with red eyes and orange anterior part of the body and glittering clear back, sitting tail down- head up and their incessantly moving legs and antennae created the impression that they were "fingering" the cerata of the mollusc. When A. papillosa were disturbed and crossed the cerata, these amphipods were completely hidden in a kind of refuge inside the ceratal clusters. I am not sure whether these amphipods are real ectoparasites of A. papillosa or not, probably commensals, only seeking protection and utilizing the space among cerata as shelter.

Irina Roginskaya.

Roginskaya, I, 1999 (Oct 8) Amphipod commensals? on Aeolidia papillosa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from