Colpodaspis sp? from Tasmania

June 19, 2000
From: Nerida Wilson

Dear Bill,

This little critter crawled on to my buddy's glove at Bicheno, Tasmania, Australia. The photo didn't scan that well, I had to lighten it a lot. It's colour is a dark indigo purple/blue. Have you ever seen it before?

13 February 2000
15.5m depth
4mm long
temperate rocky reef

Nerida Wilson

Wilson, N., 2000 (Jun 19) Colpodaspis sp? from Tasmania. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Nerida,
I am pretty sure this is a species of Colpodaspis which is found in temperate southeastern Australia. Not commonly found, but that could be because of its size, and because we don't really know where to look. I remember Greg Brown once telling me how the European Colpodaspis pusilla was considered extremely rare - only a single record was known from Britain until the late 1970s - until he discovered where to look.

As you will see from the photos at the top of the page the colour appears quite different in different lights and on different backgrounds.

  • Brown, G.H. (1979) An investigation of the anatomy of Colpodaspis pusilla (Mollusca: Opisthobranchia) and a description of a new species of Colpodaspis from Tanzanian coastal waters. Journal of Zoology, London, 187: 201-221.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Jun 19). Comment on Colpodaspis sp? from Tasmania by Nerida Wilson. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Colpodaspis sp. 1