Tropical Indo-West Pacific distribution
Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, 0-18m, Queensland, Australia, Pacific Ocean, 02 May 2007, Intertial and subtidal. Length: 6-11 mm. Photographer: Gary Cobb.
Relatively small glaucid aeolid with anterior cluster of cerata on each side arranged in a single arch, while the cerata behind the heart are arranged in single sloping rows. The oral tentacles and rhinophores are smooth, tapering to a rounded point, and the anterior end of the foot is extended on each side into tentacular foot corners. The body is translucent clear with some white spots and patches, and a most characteristic pattern of curved thin orange lines. On the head there is an orange inverted V-shaped mark running forward from each rhinophore, and behind the rhinopores is an orange line running back from the base of each rhinophore and they curving in to meet in the midline. Down the body, in the space between the ceratal clusters there are similar pairs of orange lines. The ceratal wall is marked with a band of vertical white lines, which are quite obvious when the digestive gland is a dark brown colour.
Edmunds, M. (1970) Opisthobranchiate Mollusca from Tanzania. II. Eolidacea (Cuthonidae, Piseinotecidae and Facelinidae). Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London, 39: 15-57.
Rudman, W.B., 2007 (July 5) Cratena simba Edmunds, 1970. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/cratsimb
July 7, 2007
From: Gary Cobb
But wait there's more! Cratena simba is found here on the Sunshine Coast and has been found here quite a few times intertidally and subtidally. Here are some photos showing the red lines.
Locality: Mooloolaba Sunshine Coast, 0-18m, Queensland, Australia, Pacific Ocean, 02 May 2007, Intertial and subtidal. Length: 6-11 mm. Photographer: Gary Cobb.
firstname.lastname@example.orgCobb, G.C., 2007 (Jul 7) Cratena simba found southern Queensland. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/20144
I found this species once in northern New South Wales but I am afraid something ate it before I could photograph and preserve it. I haven't had much luck with photographing this species. I found it a few times in Tanzania but have no useful photos to show for it, so your photos showing the characteristic orange-red markings are very welcome.
July 6, 2007
From: Danny Van Belle
I'm going through all the pictures as I prepare to update my website and include nudibranch pages. This one looks like Eubranchus sp. ?
Locality: Police pier - Lembeh strait, 5 m, Indonesia, Indian ocean, 03 March 2007, Sandy with coral bommies. Length: 1 cm. Photographer: Danny Van Belle.
Danny Van Belle
Van Belle, D., 2007 (Jul 6) Cratena simba from Indonesia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/19664
I have over-enlarged one of your photos alongside to show the thin curved transverse orange lines on the head and down the body which are so characteristic of this species whih Malcolm Edmunds named Cratena simba. I am not quite sure why he called it simba. He did find his specimens in Tanzania, and simba is a Swahili word for lion, but this tiny delicate species in not even a lion amongst the aeolids.