Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Species List: La Balsa Park, Mooloolah River, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, 17-10-2014

21 species sighted at La Balsa Park, Mooloolah River, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast.

Julie, Terry, and David on this single shore entry dive of 118 minutes in depths to 6.4m. 8m viz and 23C water temp.

An almost cloudless sky and reasonable water clarity gave us heaps of light on the substrate during this mid-afternoon dive. A number of species were found that are new to our list.

The Godiva is obviously a juvenile but bears many similarities to Godiva quadricolor. The exception is smooth rhinophores rather than the annulated ones we have always found on these specimens previously. This could just be an undeveloped juvenile feature.

Two species of Aplysiidae were found in the weed. Our best investigations at this point lead us to believe that one (10mm) is a species of Petalifera whilst the other (5mm) is a species of Phyllaplysia. An internal shell is visible in the later but being a juvenile this may not be of significance. In both cases we have opted for the safer choice and designated each as an sp. as the features do not seem to point to any particular species. (Additional pictures of these will be available to review when the website is updated next week.) The Aplysiidae are in dire need of a review with many authors giving conflicting views upon what belongs in each genus. To quote Rudman (Sea Slug Forum) on this: "How many species and genera there are has been the subject of a lengthy, and uninformative debate in the scientific literature."

An undescribed species of Favorinus was also found, being most unusual in the colour within the skin of its body and tail leading us to nickname it the "Glitter Critter".

Number of species sighted
* Species with highest specimen count

Analogium amakusanum 1
Chelidonura fulvipunctata 1
Cratena lineata 1
Elysia sp. 11 1
Favorinus sp. 3 1 (New species)
Flabellina rubrolineata 5
Godiva quadricolor 1 (appears to be a juvenile)
Goniobranchus daphne 13
Goniobranchus decorus 1
Goniodoridella sp.1 1
Goniodoridella sp. 3 1
Hypselodoris obscura 5
Petalifera sp. 1 1 (New species)
Phyllaplysia sp. 1 1 (New species)
Phyllodesmium opalescens 3
Pteraeolidia ianthina 14
Rostanga sp. 1 1
Trinchesia ornata 1 (Best guess)
Trinchesia sp. 23 1
Trinchesia yamasui 1
*Unidentia angelvaldesi 27

Substrate - light & bright

Analogium amakusanum

Goniobranchus decorus

Flabellina rubrolineata

Goniobranchus decorus - mating pair

Trinchesia yamasui - feeding on the hydroids

Pteraeolidia ianthina

Goniobranchus decorus

Goniodoridella sp.1

Trinchesia ornata - best guess

Chelidonura fulvipunctata

Cratena lineata

Goniodoridella sp. 3

Petalifera sp. 1 - new species (10mm)

Phyllaplysia sp. 1 - new species (5mm)

Unidentia angelvaldesi - top of the count

Rostanga sp. 1

Rostanga sp. 1 - note bite mark 
out of mantle by predator

Trinchesia sp. 23

Phyllodesmium opalescens

Pteraeolidia ianthina

Godiva quadricolor - juvenile 
with smooth rhinophores

Godiva quadricolor

Favorinus sp. 3 - new species

Favorinus sp. 3 - glittery multi-coloured 
specs in the skin

Elysia sp. 11- rhinophores rock 
back and forth as it moves