August 17, 2007
From: Melanie Wood
I was tide-pooling today and I came across this species which I believe may be Haminoea fusca. There were a number of these exposed at low tide and there were also an abundance of egg masses in the same area though I am unsure whether they were from these. Quite difficult to obtain good pictures of them too!!
Locality: Rowes Bay, Townsville, Low tide (0.47metres), Queensland, Australia, 11 July 2007, Intertidal muddy area. Length: 2 cm. Photographer: Melanie Wood.
Wood, M. J., 2007 (Aug 17) Haminoea fusca? from Townsville, Queesnsland. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/20195
Thanks very much for the nice photos of the egg mass. It show the shape of the sausage-shaped mass and the spiral egg string very clearly.
I wish I could be more supportive of your identification. I would agree it is almost certainly a species of Haminoea, but even with a good photo of the shell it is almost impossible to name tropical Indo-West Pacific species with any certainty at present, especially when they are mottled grey and brown like this species. Unfortunately, most species of Haminoea were named from empty shells, and while we have been able to sort out some species, such as Haminoea zelandiae, simply because only one species of Haminoea is found in New Zealand, the same can't be said of species which were named from any part of the tropical Indo-West Pacific were a number of species can be present at any time. In this case, H. fusca A. Adams, was named from a shell from the Philippines.
My feeling is that the names of these tropical species of Haminoea can only be resolved by a comprehensive revision. It will need someone to look at the anatomy, external features of the living animals, and shell morphology, to find out how many species there really are, and then try and fit these 'species' with the old names and shells.
All I can really do is start up a page for unidentified Indo-West Pacific species.