Species Index

Oxynoe viridis
(Pease, 1861)

Distribution: Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Recorded from the tropical and warm temperate Indo-Pacific region. In Australia recorded from all states excepting Tasmania.

Ecological Notes: Intertidal areas, rocky reef and lagoons, other areas where Caulerpa sp. food source is found. Depth from intertidal to at least 10 m.

Additional Notes: Variable green body colour, from dark to greenish yellow, with varying sized small blue spots. Has a fragile bubble shaped shell which is partially enclosed by parapodial flaps. They can produce a sticky white secretion when attacked or disturbed and can break off the long muscular foot by the process known as autotomisation if in extreme danger. Small size, colouration and association with algal food source limits sightings unless specifically searched for. Known to associate with algae Caulerpa filicoides, and Ccupressoides. A member of the order Sacoglossa, these animals feed on algae by piercing the algal cell walls with ribbon like teeth. A small species growing to a maximum of around 12 mm. Specimen pictured around 7 mm in length.

References: Gary Cobb, David Mullins, Nudibranchs Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition, 2015. Publishers Thomas Slone, Masalai Press and Tim Hochgrebe, Underwater Australasia. p.66.

Australian Museum, Sea Slug Forum. Accessed 08/09/2018.