November 11, 2001
From: Erwin Koehler
Here is a photo of Lobiger serradifalci from Albenga, Italy on Caulerpa taxifolia.
size: ~ 2 cm,
depth: ~ 5 m
October 18, 1998
Photographer: Olivier Dugornay,
[See Erwin's Mediterranean Slug Site]
Erwin@medslugs.deKoehler, E., 2001 (Nov 11) Re: Lobiger serradifalci from the Mediterranean. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/5659
It is interesting to see the bifurcating tips to the parapodial lobes. I can't find any mention in the literature of such a character so it may be something unusual in this specimen.
I see it is on the introduced Caulerpa taxifolia. In a recently published paper it says that Lobiger serradifalci, which naturally feeds on Caulerpa prolifera, has begun to settle and feed on C. taxifolia. However, rather than helping to control the spread of this introduced algae it may in fact be hastening its spread. In the Mediterranean, at least, C. taxifolia is reproducing vegetatively, by small pieces breaking off and growing into new plants. Unfortunately, Lobiger serradifalci feeds by piercing holes in the cell wall, which weakens the plant and allows pieces to break off, so hastening the spread of the algae. Unfortunately nothing is simple!
Reference: • Zuljevic A., Thibaut T., Elloukal H., Meinesz, A. (2001) Sea slug disperses the invasive Caulerpa taxifolia. Journal of the Marine Biological Association, UK, 81: 3761/1-2.