PORT PHILLIP BAY


Nudibranch 

Melibe australis (Angas, 1864)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Nudibranchia group detail.
Mantle (dorsal surface) with pair of rhinophores anteriorly. Gills as a cluster posteriorly, or laterally, or laterally below mantle overhang.

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:
Nudibranchia
Infraorder:
Dendronotina
Family:
Tethydidae
Genus:
Melibe
Species:
australis

General Description

Body shape slug-like with gill structures visible as multiple projections along the sides body. Pattern includes shades or colours of white. Animal up to 3 cm long.

Biology

These nudibranchs use their hood or cowl to catch and contain food prior to ingestion. The animal casts the cowl forward rather like an angler casts a net. When handled, these tethydid nudibranchs exude a sweet sickly scent. There are three unnamed species of Melibe in south-eastern Australian waters.

Habitat

Usually found under stones or crawling on algae, to depth of 10 m.

Coastal shores

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Nudibranchs and allies Nudibranchs

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

3 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 4802

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, Nudibranch, Melibe australis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 29 Jun 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/4968

Text: creative commons cc by licence