November 19, 2008
From: Gary McDonald
Concerning message #13888:
While in the intertidal this week, I found a specimen of the relatively rare Baptodoris mimetica and took advantage of the opportunity to photograph it next to the similar and quite common Doriopsilla albopunctata. For several years in the late 1960s I was unaware of the existence of B. mimetica and assumed that every yellow dorid with white flecks which I found in the intertidal was D. albopunctata, and I would not bother to pick up the individuals for closer inspection. This species first appears in my notes concerning 2 specimens, both 21 mm long, collected 18 November 1970 at Monastery Beach, Monterey Co., California, USA, depth 100 feet, by Ed Stark. Once I noticed the differences between the two species (B. mimetica has labial tentacles, narrower foot, firmer body, more erect gills, & radula) I started to check each individual to see which species it might be. I've also included close-ups of the gills of both species for comparison. The middle photo - of the upright gills of B. mimetica is of the lower animal in the upper photo. The lower photo shows the spreading gills of a specimen of D. albopunctata which was 71 mm long, found 31 July 2007 at Carmel Pt., Monterey Co., California, USA.
Upper Photo: Showing D. albopunctata (upper) & B. mimetica (lower). Carmel Pt., Monterey Co., intertidal, California, USA, Pacific, 13 November 2008, Rocky intertidal. Length: 20 & 22 mm. Photographer: Gary McDonald.
email@example.comMcDonald, G.R., 2008 (Nov 19) Baptodoris mimetica & Doriopsilla albopunctata. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/22050
With these two species - and Doriopsilla gemela - you clearly need to be careful when identifying this group of species.