West Atlantic - Florida to Brazil
There is considerable confusion surrounding the identity of the Caribbean species of Elysia. Many species were described by the Marcus's often on few specimens and litle or no information on the colour or colour variation of living animals. The description of the external features is from Eveline Marcus's (1980) review of the genus:
'Large slugs, up to 40mm long alive. They are brownish to greenish grey with black rings around the outlets of skin glands, and with black pigment on the lips and generally on the edges of the parapodia. The rhinophores and the outer side of the parapodia are best with warts. White spots occur on the back and at the tips of the warts'.
• Marcus, Er. (1957) On Opisthobranchia from Brazil (2). Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology, 43(292): 390-486.
• Marcus, Er. & Marcus, Ev. (1967) American opisthobranch mollusks. Part 1, Tropical American opisthobranchs. Studies Tropical Oceanography, Miami, 6(1-2): 1-137. (Figs 1-150, Pl.1, figs 1-9)
• Marcus, Ev. (1980) Review of western Atlantic Elysiidae (Opisthobranchia Ascoglossa) with a description of a new Elysia species. Bull. Mar. Sci. 30(1): 54-79.
Rudman, W.B., 2003 (October 10) Elysia cauze Marcus, 1957. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/elyscauz
September 21, 2005
From: Vinicius Padula
I think this is Elysia cauze. This is the first record of the order Sacoglossa in Rio de Janeiro state.
Locality: Armação de Búzios, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Atlantic Ocean. Depth: 1 metre. Length: 20 mm. February 2005. Under rock. Photographer: Vinicius Padula
email@example.comPadula, V., 2005 (Sep 21) Elysia cauze from Brazil. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/14806
As I have said before, many species are difficult to identify because the original descriptions lacked sufficient information. These photos fit Ernst Marcus's original description rather well. One point I would be grateful if you could check is whether the small blackish spots on the outside of the parapodia [see close-up alongside] are spots or rings. Marcus describes them as small rings, and Thompson (1977) reports them from specimens he examined in Jamaica. In the photo alongside I can also see the reticulate branching of the blood vessels over the inside of the right parapodia. This lack of primary vessels is also mentioned by Marcus.
Since the original animals were collected at Ilha de São Sebastião and Ubatuba, in São Paulo State just south of Rio de Janeiro, and it is also known from the Caribbean, I guess it was only a matter of time before a diligent researcher found this species in your state. It is indeed an excellent find and I am sure will help clarify the identity of this species. I will now be able to upgrade the Fact Sheet on this species.
Marcus, Er. (1957) On Opisthobranchia from Brazil (2). Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology, 43(292): 390-486.
Marcus, Ev. (1980) Review of western Atlantic Elysiidae (Opisthobranchia Ascoglossa) with a description of a new Elysia species. Bulletin of Marine Science, 30(1): 54-79.
Thompson, T.E. (1977) Jamaican opisthobranch molluscs I. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 43(2): 93-139, pls.1-3.