Sighted Jan 18 2018
I know I posted about another sea hare recently. In that case, it was obviously something unique. In this case, Seth managed to convince me that it was ‘just an elephant snail’ so I moved on and didn’t get any more photos. I should have listened to my gut.
I sought an experts advice. He said:
I suspect that this is A. juliana. It can get to this dark port wine colour with few other patterns present. In life it’s most characteristic features are its locomotion which can be like a looping caterpillar nose to tail sort of ‘walk’ and it does not ink like other large Aplysia. Eastern Australian a juliana get so black that it was also called A nigra by one taxonomist.
Although the dark mantle border is a characteristic of A parvula it is always a relatively small slug.
I now really, really want a Gopro camera to aid with identifying sea animals. I’m so broke though – my current resources will have to do.
The below species was observed in September, 2017.
I asked for help and was told:
“The only suggestion I could make is Aplysia juliana but it certainly is not quite like the animals we usually see. It is often dark brown and usually has white dots/spots on the body but I have never seen them arranged in the manner shown in this animal. If it is from Victoria, I think an aberrant A juliana is the most likely option. It does not have the purple ink of A sydneyensis and A parvula has dark edges to the parapodia.”
I know the etiquette is against copying and pasting when it comes to information ID’s. I’m bending the rules in this case as I want to document more creatures around Apollo Bay. I want to know what to look for and document should there be multiple sea hares with patterning such as this.