September 1, 2003
From: Rachel Przeslawski
While out surveying, I noticed these egg ribbons nestled into a colonial ascidian under two different boulders at Wollongong, New South Wales [Australia]. Upon closer inspection, I saw an adult Goniodoris meracula buried under the ascidian at each boulder. I brought them back to the lab to confirm egg mass identity, and they kindly laid the exact same egg mass I had seen in the field (as well as mating on glass for me to snap a fuzzy nudi photo). The veligers were interesting because they and their capsules were so elongated ... I've seen similar elongated capsules before in very mature egg masses, but the veligers seemed to have left or died because there were only shells left in seemingly intact capsules.
Any ideas why this would happen?
Przeslawski, R., 2003 (Sep 1) Goniodoris meracula - egg ribbons. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10862
I think the shape of the egg capsules is species specific, some being quite spherical while others are more elongate. Concerning death in the egg capsules would suggest the larvae were killed by adverse conditions, disease or attack by protozoa. Goniodoris meracula is definitely one of those species which is very difficult to find. As you experienced, it is usually only found after its much more noticeable egg masses are deposited.