April 24, 2001
From: Kathe Jensen
Dear Bill and Anna,
Anna's pictures of Ercolania fuscata from Florida is a perfect illustration of why Kerry Clark and I many years ago decided to synonymize E. fuscata and E. vanellus (then Stiliger vanellus). The pale form fits Marcus's description of E. vanellus, and the dark form is what has always been called E. fuscata (or Stiliger fuscatus) in NE America. We had an idea that the pale form was more of a warm water form, but when we started finding mixed populations that idea was dropped. My suggestion would be to place a pale and a dark specimen together and see what happens - I can almost guarantee mating and subsequent spawning, which is a pretty good indication of conspecificity (although we cannot say for sure if the offspring
will be fertile).
• Marcus, E. (1957) On Opisthobranchia from Brazil (2). Journal of the Linnean Society, Zoology, 43: 390-486.
• Jensen, K. & Clark, K.B. (1983) Annotated checklist of Florida ascoglossan opisthobranchs. The Nautilus, 97: 1-13.
email@example.comJensen, K., 2001 (Apr 24) Colour variation in Ercolania fuscata. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/4233
It's great to have these colour photos. It certainly makes it so much easier to visualise colour variations and similarities when you can look at photos rather than just words on a printed page.