Ercolania sp. 4
Honiara, Solomon Islands, 8 December 2002. Photo: Bruce Potter.
As it reminds me a bit of Ercolania endophytophaga, and appears to have simple unfolded and ungrooved rhinophores, so I am going to call it Ercolania sp. 4. I could of course be quite wrong. See also discussion below comparing it to Stiliger smaragdinus.Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2002 (December 19) Ercolania sp. 4 [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/ercosp4
December 23, 2002
From: Kathe R. Jensen
Dear Bill & Bruce,
Concerning the algal mimic - If I was frozen, this picture certainly warmed me up. I have never seen anything like it. Of course the cerata are similar to those of Stiliger smaragdinus, but as you say, the rhinophores are all wrong. I wonder whether this one is mimicking Caulerpa racemosa or Valonia/ Boergesenia. Some species of Valonia and also Boergesenia have these large cylindrical utricles that look similar to the cerata of this animal.
I noticed that the digestive gland in the rhiniphores have short lateral branches, resembling those in Placida dendritica and Ercolania coerulea. It would be very interesting to look at its radular teeth (wishful thinking in the holiday season).
firstname.lastname@example.orgJensen, K.R., 2002 (Dec 23) Re: Sacoglossan - algal mimic. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/8700
Thanks for your comments. As it reminds me a bit of your Ercolania endophytophaga, and appears to have simple unfolded and ungrooved rhinophores, I am going to call it Ercolania sp. 4. I could of course be quite wrong, but I don't like leaving it lost amongst 'the unidentified'.
December 19, 2002
From: Bruce Potter
I did a dive on the outskirts of Honiara, Solomon Islands yesterday [8 December 2002], and came across this little critter. There are many weeds and grasses among the coral and rubble on this particular site, and I am always looking for slugs that mimic their surroundings.
I had great difficulty actually convincing myself that I had a slug when I first saw this one. Then it moved, and I saw the rhinophores, and I was convinced. It was about 25mm long, and I found it at 16 meters deep.I have not been able to find it in any of my books.
Potter, B., 2002 (Dec 19) Sacoglossan - algal mimic. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/8628
I am glad you photographed the rhinophores, or I would also have had difficulty in accepting its animal nature. From the branching in the rhinophores I would suspect that this is a sacoglossan. It has similarities to Stiliger smaragdinus but in that species the rhinophores are proportionally larger, they are white tipped, and don't show any branching ducts.
Hopefully Kathe Jensen hasn't frozen solid with her move from Thailand back to northern Europe, and can give us some comments