PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sap-sucking Sea Slug 

Ercolania margaritae Burn, 1974

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Sacoglossa group detail.
These molluscs are characterised by buccal morphology. Shell when present is thin and situated over visceral mass, animal often much larger than shell. Shell-less animals with projecting often wavy fold (parapodium, plural parapodia) along each side of body (Plakobranchidae), or with leaf-like or carrot-shaped cerata along each side of body. One pair of tentacles (rhinophores) on head.

Source: Burn, R. (2006) A checklist and bibliography of the Opisthobranchia (Mollusca: Gastropoda) of Victoria and the Bass Strait area, south-eastern Australia. Museum Victoria Science Reports 10: 1-42.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Mollusca
Subphylum:
Conchifera
Superclass:
Visceroconcha
Class:
Gastropoda
Subclass:
Orthogastropoda
Superorder:
Heterobranchia
Order:
Opisthobranchia
Suborder:
Sacoglossa
Superfamily:
Limapontioidea
Family:
Limapontiidae
Genus:
Ercolania
Species:
margaritae

General Description

Body shape slug-like with gill structures visible as multiple projections along the sides body. Pattern includes shades or colours of white and/or black. Animal up to 1 cm long.

Biology

This species can be extremely common on intertidal rock platforms, but its colouration tends to make the animals very inconspicuous. It is often associated with filamentous green algae such as Enteromorpha and Chaetomorpha. There are numerous other species undescribed from this family group known from the Bass Strait area.

Habitat

On green seaweeds in shallow waters and tidal pools, to depth of 16 m.

Coastal shores

Reefs

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Nudibranchs and allies Sap-sucking sea slugs

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

1 cm

Diet

Herbivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Burn, R.

Robert Burn is an Honorary Associate at Museum Victoria with expertise in Molluscs.

Author

article author Wilson, R.

Robin Wilson is a Senior Curator of marine invertebrates at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Burn, R. & Wilson, R., 2011, Sap-sucking Sea Slug, Ercolania margaritae, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 27 Jun 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/4927

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