June 18, 2007
From: Bruce Potter
When I was diving in Nelson Bay, I saw and photographed many sea hares. I identified some as Aplysia juliana and then I saw the message from David and Leanne Atkinson [#19204] I wondered if I had identified mine correctly.
These would have been around 300 mm long and were all found in sea grass at depths of 5 to 10 metres.
Locality: Fly Point, Nelson Bay, 5 to 10 mtr, NSW, Pacific, 2006, Sea Grass and sponges. Length: 300mm. Photographer: Bruce Potter.
email@example.comPotter, B., 2007 (Jun 18) Aplysia extraordinaria from Nelson's Bay, New South Wales. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/19407
You are right to doubt that these are A. juliana. The upper photo is definitely Aplysia extraordinaria which, as I discussed in the Atkinson's message, has very large parapodia which it uses for swimming. I am not so sure about the animal in your lower photo, which looks more like a large Aplysia sydneyensis, but it may be A. extraordinaria as well - just stretched out as it crawls along.
As you may gather from my comments, identifying Aplysia from photos is sometimes more of an arcane art than a precise science.
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