Unidentified - North America (East Coast)
A place for temporarily storing messages about species from the East (Atlantic) Coast of North America until they are identified. See Unidentified -General Page for an index of unidentified categories. Please make a point of looking through these messages to see if you can help identify any of them.Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2001 (June 26) Unidentified - North America (East Coast). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/unidentec
August 15, 2005
We just returned from the Outer Banks (Salvo, Hatteras Island) and also found a creature that sounds like the one described by Andrea [message #5199]. When in the ball shape, it was a little bigger than a golf ball, but smaller than a Kiwi fruit. It was in the ball shape when we found it on the beach. When it "relaxed" and elongated a bit, it really resembled poop. The best description of how it felt in the ball shape would be to say like a gonad. (Sorry!) We put it under a flat shell in a bowl of sea water for about half an hour and its little pores became like tentacles and it attached itself to the shell. Then we put it back in the sea.
Locality: Salvo, Hatteras Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina, USA
email@example.comJudy, 2005 (Aug 15) Re: Nudibranch? from North Carolina Coast.. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/14562
As I said to Andrea, the sea is full of strange animals which can change shape with great ease. I'm afraid without a photo or drawings it's almost impossible to identify your mystery object
September 8, 2003
From: Alan Shepard
Here's a photo of a Doto from Eastport, Maine [USA] that I'm hoping you or someone else can assist in identifying. Dr. Larry Harris of the University of New Hampshire took a look at it and said he had not seen this particular Doto in our area and suggested that Terry Gosliner or yourself might be able to help.
When I first saw it underwater I thought it might be Doto coronata but when I got the photo back I didn't think so. The cerata do not look like those of the D. coronata we normally see in New England. I'm sending a shot of D. coronata [message 1] and another Doto [message 2] shortly also taken in Eastport.
This Doto was approximately 10mm long and was found in about 12m of water.
Tolland, CT, USA
firstname.lastname@example.orgShepard, A., 2003 (Sep 8) Doto species from Eastport, Maine, USA. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10894
Your animal has similarities to a couple of European species externally, but I would follow Bernard Picton's belief that the key to Doto identities is likely to be the food they eat. I am not sure in this case, if your slug's presence on the stalk of a hydroid, which looks like a species of Tubularia, is significant, but it is certainly worth noting so if you run into this species again you can check whether it has a liking for this hydroid or not.
March 11, 2002
From: J-F Desroches
Hi Dear All,
I collected an orange Seaslug at Bic (just west of Rimouski, south shore of St-Lawrence River), in Quebec, on september 24th 1994. It was on shallow water (less than 30 cm) and under a rock. I still have the specimen in collection.
Can anyone tell me the species' name? Is it possible from a so-poor description?
email@example.comDesroches, J-F , 2002 (Mar 11) Orange Seaslug from Quebec. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/6395
I'm afraid we will need a few more clues. Can you give us an idea about its shape? Is it a dorid like Onchidoris bilamellata or an aeolid like Flabellina verrucosa. One good book that might help you is Sea Slugs of Atlantic Canada and the Gulf of Maine.
September 3, 2001
My family and I were visiting Hatteras Island, North Carolina, USA and came across a very unusual looking creature. Now, understand please that the majority of the family are all teenagers and found that this unusual creature resembled the infamous Mr. Hanky from South Park, but it appeared to be alive. I've never seen anything like it in my life. As my friend held this thing in her hand, it moved slowly and changed shaped, changing from an egg like round mass to a flattened circle, an elongated pear shape, and then bent like a half circle around her finger and then it seemed to tighten up a small ball like shape on one end. Very strange.It appeared to have an orifice on either end. It was a dark brown color, and had a rough surface, but no apparent gills or fins of any sort. We found it sitting at the water's edge as we walked along the beach.
Well, of course I was curious and began to search the web to see what this strange thing was. The closest thing I've found are some of the varieties of Nudibranchs. But there are so many different species, and there don't seem to be groupings of Nudibranches common to the Middle to Southern Atlantic Coast. Can you help point us in the right direction here. Do you think what we saw was a Nudibranch. Can you tell me species of Nudibranchs that we might be common in the North Carolina area?
firstname.lastname@example.orgAndrea, 2001 (Sep 3) Nudibranch? from North Carolina Coast. . [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/5199
I'm afraid you don't give me much to go on. Even some idea of its size would be valuable. If it is a sea slug one possibility is a Sea Hare. There is a general page on Sea Hares in the Forum with links to more specific pages. Have at look at some of those to see if your animal was at all similar. A clue to Sea Hares is that they can exude a red or purple ink when disturbed. From your description it looks like you examined the animal out of water. If so it is often difficult to see their real shape.
Concerning sources of information about the sea slugs of the Atlantic Coast of the USA, I'm afraid they are not very comprehensive. There is a book by Sherman Bleakney on Canada and the Gulf of Maine, but that's about it until you get to the Caribbean. If you could provide a rough sketch or any other clues someone migth recognise your mystery.
June 27, 2001
From: Paul Young
When I got my first camera I was taking pictures of Metridium anemones, and when we got one developed there was a nudibranch apparently eating the tentacles.
Unfortunately this isn't a great shot as it is a blow-up of a small part of the photo. The animal is less than a half-cm long. And I haven't seen one since.
email@example.comYoung, P., 2001 (Jun 27) Tiny New England Nudibranch. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/4625
I am afraid I can't see enough to confirm it is a nudibranch. I am only posting your photo because it is possible someone who has studied life histories, will recognise it as a juvenile.
July 6, 2000
From: Anne DuPont
How are you and things at the museum? Been on any good trips lately? I was diving off the coast of South Carolina (USA) and found this tiny nudibranch that I cannot identify. From my (poor) photos, can you identify it?
Date: May 5, 2000
Location: A shipwreck 6 miles off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA
Depth: 60 feet
Water temp: 64 degrees
The size of the nudibranch was about 1/2 inches long.
The Color was brownish-red, (but more brown than red.) He was crawling around on hydroids and soft corals on top of the wreck and
was quite active.
Thank you again for all your help, and for the great Forum.
Delray Beach, Florida (USA)
firstname.lastname@example.orgDuPont, A., 2000 (Jul 6) Polycerid from South Carolina, USA. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/2651
It's winter here at the moment and I am afraid I haven't had a chance to escape north to the sun.
Your animal is a polycerid of some sort, possibly a species of Palio. There are two species I know of that live right around the north Atlantic from USA to Europe.
One is Palio dubia (M. sars, 1829) ( = Polycera lessoni; Polycera modesta) and the second is Palio nothus (Johnson, 1838) ( = Polycera ocellatus). It doesn't seem quite right for either of those so we will see if Terry Gosliner, or someone else with experience of the east coast fauna can help.
The 'weedy' growths your animal is on are arborescent bryozoans on which it is probably feeding.