Re: Aplysiopsis oliviae from British Columbia

June 28, 2000
From: Cynthia Trowbridge

Dear Marli, Kathe, and Bill,

To follow up on comments that the species probably eats red algae, I would like to mention that Sandra Millen (1980) reported the slug ate the red algae Griffithsia pacifica and Polysiphonia hendryi. My own experience is that Griffithsia is not very common; in fact, the only place I recall ever have seen Griffithsia on the west coast is on the floating docks at Friday Harbor Labs in Friday Harbor, Washington (USA). In my 17 years of research on the Oregon coast, I personally have never seen Griffithsia here (yes, I have looked!). Polysiphonia spp. are really difficult for me (and others) to identify. Thus, the scarcity of the Aplysiopsis oliviae reports may be due to scarcity of the algal hosts and/or the biology of the ascoglossan species per se. Anyway, I note the past papers on this species are as follows:

• MacFarland, FM (1966) Studies of opisthobranchiate mollusks of the Pacific coast of North America. Mem. Calif. Acad. Sci. 6: 1-546.
• Lee, RS & Brophy, P (1969) Additional bathymetric and locality data for some opisthobranchs and an octopus from Santa Barbara County, California. The Veliger, 12: 220-221.
• Gosliner, TM & Williams, GC (1970) The opisthobranch mollusks of Marin County, California (Gastropoda). The Veliger, 13: 175-180.
• Williams, GC & Gosliner, TM (1973) Range extensions for four sacoglossan opisthobranchs from the coasts of California and the Gulf of Mexico (Mollusca: Gastropoda). The Veliger, 16: 112-116.
• Millen, SV (1980) Range extensions, new distribution sites, and notes on the biology of sacoglossan opisthobranchs (Mollusca: Gastropoda) in British Columbia. Can. J. Zool., 58: 1207-1209.

All the best,
Hatfield Marine Science Center
Oregon State University, USA

Trowbridge, C., 2000 (Jun 28) Re: Aplysiopsis oliviae from British Columbia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Cynthia,
Following Kathe Jensen's comments, I wouldn't mind some advice on whether I should be calling this animal Hermaea rather than Aplysiopsis.

Note: Genus changed from Aplysiopsis to Hermaea - 7 November 2001. see Kathe Jensen's message.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.


Hermaea oliviae

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