Ercolania kencolesi Grzymbowski, Stemmer & Wägele, 2007
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Ercolania kencolesi is a small elongate animal with a pair of relatively large solid rhinophores. Let me quote Grzymbowski, Stemmer & Wägele (2007):
"Size from 4 mm up to 6 mm. Body elongate; foot tapering posteriorly; anterior foot without a notch and any propodial tentacles, but slightly extended to lateral sides;
rhinophores long, solid and digitiform; eyes lying behind rhinophores on lateral sides; renopericardial prominence inconspicuous;
cerata club-shaped to sausage-shaped, in one to two rows, with smaller ones on outer side; cerata not standing very close, those of similar size in opposite position;
central notum free of any cerata. Overall colour of body green; under higher magnification, green disintegrating to green dots representing terminal parts of
numerous tiny digestive glandular branches. Stripes never present, not even in starving animals. Rhinophores green with white tips; in median part with a
white blotch nearly circling rhinophore. Head completely green, eyes hardly visible. Anterior margin of foot light green to whitish. Cerata darker green, darkest at apical end;
subapical white blotches present, forming an incomplete ring; more patches especially in dorsal areas of cerata. After starving for two to three days,
animals showing a more brownish colour and eyes becoming more visible."
The Sea Slug Forum writes:
"This species lives in association with the algae Boergesenia forbesii (Siphonocladales), and alga which consists of giant bubble-shaped cells. Ercolania kencolesi lives both in and out of the algal cells, but to feed it pierces a hole in the giant cell, crawls inside and ingest the cell contents, including the chloroplasts along the inside cell wall. Egg masses are also laid inside the algal cell."
Yvonne Grzymbowski, Kristina Stemmer & Heike Wägele, 2007. On a new Ercolania Trinchese, 1872 (Opisthobranchia, Sacoglossa, Limapontiidae) living within Boergesenia Feldmann, 1950 (Cladophorales), with notes on anatomy, histology and biology.
Zootaxa, 1577: 3-16
Rudman, W.B., 2007 (September 13) Ercolania kencolesi Grzymbowski, Stemmer & Wagele, 2007.
[In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/ercokenc
More information on Ercolania kencolesi are on
Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum!
How to cite:
Köhler, E. (2021), published 27 May 2021, Ercolania kencolesi Grzymbowski, Stemmer & Wägele, 2007