October 4, 2002
From: John Chuk
Ercolania cf. boodleae has appeared in large numbers in the intertidal zone on the reef at Point Lonsdale, Victoria, Australia. At low tide on 13 Sept 2002 I found about 50 specimens on algal tufts in shallow rock pools on the reef flat. The photo is of a specimen about 6mm in length. It is not a great shot as it was taken from above the water surface in natural light. The specimens were darker in colour and smaller than those I found at Flinders Pier earlier in the year. They were 4mm to 6mm in length. Most had completely black cerata with no hint of colour on the tips. Some, like the animal photographed, had just a hint of red-brown on the tips of the cerata. The black line on the rhinophores extended right to the tip.
These specimens look very similar to the specimens of Ercolania boodleae from Japan. Maybe they are one and the same species? What do you think?
firstname.lastname@example.orgChuk, J., 2002 (Oct 4) Ercolania cf. boodleae from S.E. Australia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/8109
From your description of colour variation, and the photos we now have of animals from Japan I tend to agree that this is Ercolania boodleae. At the moment I am following Kathe Jensen's suggestion that because of the possibility of sibling species we should wait until its anatomy is compared with Japanese material.
Ercolania cf boodleae from Victoria, Australia
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