July 10, 2007
From: David Cothran
Here is a shot of Austrodoris kerguelenensis (or is it Doris now?) climbing on the solitary ascidian Cnemidocarpa verrucosa. Could it be grazing on the forams that often grow on this ascidian? I don't think that is could be feeding on the ascidian itself since this species has a very tough cuticle that contains cellulose. I have mostly seen A. kerguelenensis on the sponges Homaxinella balfourensis and Dendrilla antarctica. What do you think?
Locality: Port Lockroy (inner bay), Antarctic Peninsula, Southern Ocean. 16 meters, 12 cm long. 7 February 2007, Soft bottom, Photo: David Cothran
email@example.comCothran, D.B., 2007 (Jul 10) Austrodoris kerguelenensis from Antarctic waters. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/19510
Thanks for the photo. Concerning the status of Austrodoris - as I discussed in an earlier message [#19925 ], a new hypothesis has been made about the status of many dorid genera. The changes could all prove to be correct, but I don't think we should automatically accept every nomenclatural and taxonomic hypothesis as soon as it is proposed. In particular I would like to know what happens to the cladograms when multiple species of each genus are included.
Concerning feeding. I agree that it would be most unlikely that your animal is feeding on the ascidian or forams on the surface. As I mention on the Fact Sheet, Barnes & Bullough (1996) report that it feeds almost exclusively on Dendrilla antarctica. Nudibranchs tend to perch in some strange places at times.
Austrodoris kerguelenensis from the Antarctic Peninsula
From: Erling Svensen, April 16, 2010
From: Kevin Lee, March 18, 2010
From: Nicole Brown, March 12, 2001