Food of Colpodaspis at last?

November 1, 2007
From: Bernard Picton

Hi Bill,

I'm sorting out some photographs and observations from our last two years fieldwork, looking at conservation priority species in Northern Ireland. We've seen quite a few Colpodaspis pusilla and twice photographed it apparently associated with, and almost certainly eating, an unidentified sea squirt. We started seeing this sea squirt in the 1980's, when the Ulster Museum diving team did the Northern Ireland Sublittoral Survey (NISS) for the Environment and Heritage Service, Northern Ireland.

Locality: Maidens, Larne, Co Antrim, 30m, Northern Ireland, Atlantic Ocean, 13 August 2007, offshore rocky reef. Length: 5mm. Photographer: Bernard Picton.

I've put up a page for the seasquirt, Clavelina sp., and one for Colpodaspis on my site at

Interestingly I think I can see the same sea squirt in Jean Pierre's photograph? [message #5911 ]

all the best,

Picton, B.E., 2007 (Nov 1) Food of Colpodaspis at last?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Bernard,

Congratulations! It will certainly be great if this proves to be the food of Colpodaspis. The rolled 'rhinophores' and pallial opening on the right have often made me wonder if Colpodaspis was a primitive pleurobranch. It has usually been associated with Diaphana but I suspect the anatomical differences are greater than the similarities. Certainly feeding on sea squirts is a pleurobranch thing to do.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Nov 1). Comment on Food of Colpodaspis at last? by Bernard Picton. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

  1. Colpodaspis pusilla from Mediterranean
    From: Eddie Hardy, May 15, 2003
  2. Colpodaspis pusilla from the Mediterranean
    From: Jean-Pierre Bielecki, January 9, 2002
  3. Colpodaspis pusilla
    From: Bill Rudman, June 19, 2000

Show factsheet and all related messages