PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sap-sucking Sea Slug 

Polybranchia pallens (Burn, 1957)

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:
Caliphyllidae
Genus:
Polybranchia
Species:
pallens

General Description

Body shape slug-like with gill structures visible as multiple projections along the sides body. Pattern includes shades or colours of white, purple and/or brown. Animal up to 4 cm long.

Biology

This species is often found near the green seaweed, Caulerpa flexuosa, but it is not clear whether or not the animal is associated with seaweed, for example to feed.

Habitat

Near green seaweeds in shallow waters and tidal pools, to depth of 10 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

4 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, Polybranchia pallens, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Sep 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5016

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