Tambja? cf. verconis
Poor Knights Islands off the east coast of Northland, New Zealand, 6 Oct 1999 at 50 feet. Approx 8 cms long. PHOTO: D.& G. Climie.
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (December 2) Tambja? cf. verconis [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/tambcfve
April 15, 2006
From: Ian Banks
This specimen was found under the stern of the wreck of the Scottish Prince (sunk 1887). The wreck is located approximately 800 metres from the beach opposite Seaworld on the Gold Coast, sthn Queensland.
It appears to be similar to a Tambja, but not as in the pictures I have seen at this stage. What do you think it is?
Locality: Scottish Prince, Gold Coast, 11 metres, South East Queensland, Australia, Pacific Ocean, 22nd October 2005, On stern of wreck - Sponges etc. Length: 40 mm. Photographer: Ian Banks
I have not yet seen this one at other locations on the Gold Coast.
Banks, I.W., 2006 (Apr 15) Tambja cf. verconis from sthn Queensland. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/16247
This is an interesting addition. This animal is present known only from northern New Zealand and Sth Korea, suggesting it is either hitching a ride on shipping or we haven't looked very hard in the ocean in between. I have been calling it Tambja cf. verconis because it has some colour similarities to T. verconis which is known from temperate Australia and northern New Zealand. It also has similarities to the NW Pacific species Tambja sagamiana, in fact the yellow and blue is completely reversed in the two species.
It certainly appears to be a distinct species, but as far as I know, it has not been studied anatomically.
June 11, 2005
From: Dong Bum Koh
Concerning my previous message on Tambja cf. verconis [#7455]. Here is another photo of it from South Korea.
Locality: Sung San, Jeju Island, South Korea. Depth: 18 m. Feb.16 2004. Photographer: Dong Jin Jwa
Dong Bum Koh
firstname.lastname@example.orgKoh, D.B., 2005 (Jun 11) Tambja cf. verconis from South Korea. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/13999
Thanks for this. I have called it Tambja cf. verconis on the Forum, not because I think it is closely related to T. verconis, but because it looks quite similar. Tambja verconis is a temperate water species from southern Australia and northern new Zealand, while Tambja cf. verconis has a strange disjunct distribution in Sth Korea and nthn New Zealand. Either we have not looked hard enough in the waters in between, or this is an unnatural distribution, perhaps the result of shipping.
October 19, 2002
From: Dong Bum, Koh
I previously posted a photo in the Forum from Korea which you identified as Tambja cf. verconis.
Here are some more photos I suspect are the same species. They have slightly different color patterns.
Upper: April 1999, 18m depth.
Lower: March 2000, 20m depth.
Both were from Moon islet in Che Ju Island, Sth Korea.
Photo: Dong Bum, Koh
D. B. Koh.
email@example.comKoh, D.B., 2002 (Oct 19) Tambja cf. verconis from Korea. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/8168
Dear Dong Bum,
Thanks for these photos. I agree that they are colour varieties of this species.
July 12, 2002
From: Dong Bum, Koh
Here is a photo of an animal I have regarded as Tambja sagamiana. Could you tell me some information about that?
Mun islet, Seogwipo, CheJu island., Sth Korea. 20m depth., Feb. 2002.
Photo: Dong Bum, Koh
Your Forum is very useful to me.
Dong Bum, Koh
firstname.lastname@example.orgKoh, D.B., 2002 (Jul 12) Tambja cf. sagamiana from Sth Korea. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/7455
Dear Dong Bum,
This is the same animal as we have on the Forum from northern New Zealand as Tambja cf. verconis. It is surprising to have the only two records so far apart.
Is it a form of T. sagamiana? Typical Tambja sagamiana (Baba, 1955) has a blue background and orange-yellow spots ringed in black. It also has a orange-yellow band around the foot with an a thin inner line of black. In your animal the orange and blue colours are in exactly the opposite places. I am not sure how variable Tambja sagamiana is in Japan, but perhaps one of our many friends there can give us some information.
December 3, 1999
From: Daphne & Graham Climie
Dear Dr Rudman,
Please find enclosed prints copied from slides of our mystery nudibranch. It was seen
at the Poor Knights Islands off the east coast of Northland, New Zealand on 6 Oct 1999 at 50 feet. It measures approximately 8 cms in length. We have never seen this species before and have dived regularly in this area for 30 years. The water here is unusually warm this year and many unusual species have been recorded in the last 2 years which have never been seen here previously. We saw Glaucus atlanticus last Summer. Other Tambja species previously recorded here are present in unusually high numbers this Spring.
We are most grateful for your interest and help.
Daphne & Graham Climie
Dear Daphne & Graham,
It is certainly a spectacular animal and at 8 cms must have been quite a sight.
My first thought was I had seen nothing like it, but on reflection it is quite similar to Tambja verconis. There are photos of T. verconis on the Forum from the Poor Knights. If it is a peculiar colour form of T. verconis I must say I have never seen one like it.
Is it a Tambja, Nembrotha or Robastra?
The only sure way I could tell you what genus it belongs to and whether it has any relationship to Tambja verconis would be for me to dissect it and check out its anatomy. Failing that there are a couple of external clues I can use.
If you look at the photo of its head (lower right) you will see a blue 'lappet' or grooved ridge on either side of the head, which I assume is sensory. Similar structures are found in other species of Nembrotha and Tambja while in the genus Robastra, which hunts and eats other nudibranchs, there are a pair of long prominent tentacles flanking the mouth which can be seen in my reply to one of Ross Armstrong's messages about Roboastra luteolineata.
The second clue is the other photo (upper right) which shows the head of your animal in very close proximity to a half-eaten colony of the bluish arborescent bryozoan that Tambja verconis feeds on. I can't guarantee that it was feeding on the bryozoan, but it is a strong possibility that your animal is a species of Tambja. I can't be sure of its relationship to T. verconis without looking at its anatomy. Failing collecting a specimen, I guess I don't need to say that it would be worthwhile keeping an eye out for more specimens, and see if you can find any colour variation.
Glad to see the prints, and if you have any more of other species I would be glad to include them on the Forum.