Dolabrifera brazieri (Sowerby, 1870)

Distribution: 

Probably common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park but rarely seen due to small size and cryptic colouration. Known from, and believed endemic to, the east coast of Australia, Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands and New Zealand.

Ecological Notes: 

Frequents rock pools and other inter-tidal areas. Often found under rocks, where it lays a very recognisable egg mass, which is attached to the rock as a flat ribbon arranged in a zigzag pattern. Depth from intertidal to at least 8 m.

Additional Notes: 

A large, flattened species, firm to the touch, colour variable but usually mottled and ranging from a pale yellow to a dark brown. The dorsal surface has extendable, compound, pointed papillae. The head has two pairs of enrolled tentacles, the anterior pair are both chemosensory and tactile, used to 'smell' chemicals in the water, and to feel objects. The pair behind the eyes, the rhinophores, are the main chemosensory organs, used for 'smelling' food. Emits a white fluid when disturbed. Grows to about 15 cm.

References: 

Robert Burn, 2015. Museum Victoria Field Guides: Nudibranchs and related molluscs. Museum Victoria, Melbourne. p.108.

Gary Cobb, David Mullins, Nudibranchs Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition, 2015. Publishers Thomas Slone, Masalai Press and Tim Hochgrebe, Underwater Australasia. p.53.

Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=dolabrifera++brazieri. Accessed 29/07/18.