|Nudibranchs - Sunshine Coast etc. / 8113c
All photos Copyright ©2003-2020 Gary Cobb and contributing photographers
Gary Cobb 0416 048 100
|Herviella claror Burn, 1963|
|Location: Alexandra Headland, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia
Size: 12 mm
Depth: intertidal found under rock
Temperature: 25 C
white black spots orange
Photographs by Gary Cobb - Copyright 2003-2020
|NOTE: At first I thought this animal was Herviella affinis but Bill Rudman thinks it is Herviella claror...
This is a nice find, but it is Herviella claror not H. affinis. This species was described by Bob Burn from northern New South Wales, and if you compare it with the photos of H. affinis on the Forum, there are some colour differences. For example H. affinis has a distinct blackish band midway up the rhinophores, and the cerata have black speckling in the lower half to one third, followed by a broad white band below the subterminal orange band. It is possible that these two species and Herviella cloaca and a couple of other species will turn out to be colour variants of one species, but they need to be revised. Unfortunately their small size means they are not often collected, so there is little material available for examination. There are radular differences as well, but the descriptions all predate scanning electron microscopes, so our understanding of radular differences in the genus are based on old light microscopes mounts and drawings.
It's good to get a photo of the egg masses, but unfortunately in this case, the egg masses are so similar to those of H. affinis, that they don't give us any help in deciding if we are dealing with one variable species or a number of similar, but distinct, species.