Described from Sydney, New South Wales. but records on Forum from Tasmania and South Australia suggest a temperate Australian distribution.
Clovelly, Sydney, New South Wales, October 1978. 9mm long alive.
PHOTO: Bill Rudman.
The whole body, including the gills and rhinophores is opaque (pigmented not translucent) white with a few irregular golden yellow spots scattered over the body. Six of the spots are relatively large with one of each side of the lateral processes, one in front of the gills and one behind. The smaller spots are scattered over the body but not on the head. This species differs markedly in colour and radular morphology from the two species T. brunnea and T. benni that have sympatric distributions.
• Rudman,W.B.(1987). The genus Trapania (Nudibranchia: Goniodorididae) in the Indo-West Pacific. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 53: 189-212.
Rudman, W.B., 2004 (January 27) Trapania aureopunctata Rudman, 1987. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/trapaure
March 12, 2008
From: Bill Rudman
To complement today's posting of many new species of Trapania here are some SEM photos showing aspects of the morphology of the radula of Trapania aureopunctata.
SEM photos showing sections of the radular ribbon of the holotype. Clovelly, Sydney, New South Wales, October 1978. 9 mm long alive. AM C111941. SEM Photos: G. Avern. Scale = 10 µm.
- Rudman, W.B. (1987) The genus Trapania (Nudibranchia: Goniodorididae) in the Indo-West Pacific. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 53: 189-212.
January 28, 2004
From: John Chuk
Here are images of what may be Trapania aureopunctata? The specimen was found at Portsea Pier, Victoria, Australia on 15th December 2003. It measured 10mm in length and was found on an orange sponge on a pier pylon at a depth of 4m. It was possibly feeding on what appeared to be a dense population of entoprocts living on the sponge surface. Nearby was an egg ribbon that was very similar in form to egg ribbons known to belong to T. brunnea and T. benni (and it could well belong to either of those species though a thorough search failed to find any other Trapania specimens on the pylon).
The specimen had typical Trapania morphology. The body was somewhat translucent dusted with opaque white. A distinct golden orange spot was visible on the dorsum, anterior to the gills. Many other very fine, golden brown spots were seen on the body when observed with a 10x lens. The lateral processes had golden brown streaks on their lateral edges and tips. These were of varying size, most very short, the largest being a streak running up from the base, for about a third of the length, of the right lateral process adjacent to the rhinophores.
The upper image is an in situ close up of the specimen. The darkly pigmented calyces of the entoprocts (possibly a loxosomatid entoproct) are visible on the sponge surface. The middle image is an in situ shot showing the specimen as found. The egg ribbon found near the specimen is arrowed. The lower image is an aquarium shot which does show the golden brown streak on the lower portion of the right lateral process adjacent to the rhinophores.
Do you agree with my tentative identification? If it is T. aureopunctata it may suggest that the species has a distribution somewhat similar to T. benni and T. brunnea?
firstname.lastname@example.orgChuk, J., 2004 (Jan 28) Trapania aureopunctata? from S.E. Australia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/12016
I have no doubt this animal is T. aureopunctata which remains a rarely seen species. Your find and Nerida's message certainly suggests it has a temperate Australian distribution.
April 12, 2000
From: Nerida Wilson
I found this Trapania? species at Bicheno, Tasmania, Australia. It was only a few centimetres from a Trapania brunnea! It seems to have just a tiny dusting of orange on the appendages near its gills.
12 February 2000. 6.5m depth, 9mm. Temperate rocky reef
email@example.comWilson, N., 2000 (Apr 12) Trapania? from Tasmania. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/2223
I suspect this is Trapania aureopunctata. The golden marks on the body are not that obvious. But it is of course possible that it is an undescribed species or perhaps Trapania rudmani from New Zealand, which is a translucent white with yellow bands along the edge of the four mantle processes.