Species Index

Baeolidia australis
(Rudman, 1982)

Distribution: Possibly common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Recorded from Western Australia, south through to southern Queensland, also Tasmania and northern New Zealand.

Ecological Notes: Usually found in subtidal habitats associated with brown algae. Rare intertidally, to 12 m depth.

Additional Notes: Body brownish and plump, with a large, rounded bluish spot, outlined in white in front of the rhinophores between the oral tentacles, cerata translucent with sparse to dense white spotting, narrow red apical ring and white tip. Known to prey on the small anemone Cricophorous nutrix, which lives on the fronds of brown algae in coastal subtidal areas. This species of anemone has zooxanthellae living in their bodies which the aeolidiids store alive in special ducts connected to their digestive system, allowing the sugars produced by photosynthesis to provide energy for the nudibranch. Grows to at least 50 mm, usually 25 – 35 mm.

References: Robert Burn, 2015. Museum Victoria Field Guides: Nudibranchs and related molluscs. Museum Victoria, Melbourne. p.206.

Gary Cobb, David Mullins, Nudibranchs Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition, 2015. Publishers Thomas Slone, Masalai Press and Tim Hochgrebe, Underwater Australasia. p.93.

Australian Museum, Sea Slug Forum. Accessed 17/07/18.