PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sap-sucking Sea Slug 

Stiliger smaragdinus Baba, 1949

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:
Stiliger
Species:
smaragdinus

General Description

Body shape slug-like with gill structures visible as multiple projections along the sides body. Pattern includes shades or colours of green and/or white. Animal up to 7 cm long.

Biology

This is the largest sap-sucking sea slug species (the sacoglossans) in the Bass Strait area. Individuals are often seen crawling over algae in deep intertidal rock pools and they can release a white viscid fluid discharge if disturbed or handled. They are often associated with the green alga Caulerpa vesiculifera, which the animals closely resemble in both colour and the arrangement of the cerata.

Habitat

On green seaweeds in shallow waters and tidal pools, to depth of 10 m.

Coastal shores

Reefs

Distribution guide

Tropical and temperate Indo-Pacific, including New Zealand and 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

7 cm

Diet

Herbivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in 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, Stiliger smaragdinus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5045

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