April 19, 2001
From: Anna Bass
Hi Dr. Rudman,
Just wanted to send you these images of what I believe is Stiliger fuscatus. These apparently were collected as eggs in a Cladophora liniformis mat. I was walking the shore south of Sarasota, on the west coast of Florida, USA and there was quite a bit of wave action. I couldn't get into the water so just grabbed some of algae and brought it back to the lab.
Both of these animals come from the same clump of algae although I do not know if they are from the same egg mass. The only diffence was that the darker one (lower photo) was kept in a smaller non-filtered container and the other (upper photo) was in a filtered aquarium. Both were aerated. I thought this might be a good example of how different animals can look depending upon the quality of their food and other environmental conditions. I cannot negate the possibility that these may be reflect different "age" classes.
firstname.lastname@example.orgBass, A., 2001 (Apr 19) Ercolania fuscata from Florida. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/4194
Thanks for the photos. I'm afraid with two animals it's a bit difficult to know whether differences are just normal genetic variation or the result of some environmental effect.
My understanding is that this species is more appropriately placed in the genus Ercolania on the basis of its radular morphology, simple rhinophores and other anatomical characters