Aplysia parvula (March, 1863)

Distribution: 

Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. World-wide distribution in tropical and warm temperate waters. In Australia recorded from the coast of Western Australia as far north as Ashmore Reef, from northern Queensland south to Victoria and parts of South Australia, and including Tasmania and Lord Howe Island.

Ecological Notes: 

Usually found on rocky reef wherever its food source, algae, is present. Usually in shallower waters.

Additional Notes: 

One of the smallest species of Aplysia, it has extremely variable colouration. Note the characteristic black edging to parapodia and large mantle foramen through which the fragile shell can be seen, see top photograph. Exudes a purple dye when disturbed. Grows to 60 mm.

References: 

Gary Cobb, David Mullins, Nudibranchs Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition, 2015. Publishers Thomas Slone, Masalai Press and Tim Hochgrebe, Underwater Australasia. p.52.

Atlas of Living Australia at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=aplysia+parvula. Accessed 25/01/2019.