The armina as Eva and Pierre found it
Photo by Pierre Niehaus

Close-up



Feeding on an uprooted sea pen

All other photos Guido Zsilavecz
Pierre's Armina
Eva Neves saw this sea slug on a dive with Pierre Niehaus, who took the photograph and sent it in to SURG for identification. That Eva saw it became known only much later, after the common name of Pierre's armina was already in common use.

Initially SURG was puzzled, not even knowing where to start looking, as it resembled nothing seen before. Paging through a sea slug identification guide however revealed it was a member of the Arminidae - the armina's, a mostly sand-dwelling family of sea slugs with a diet consisting largely of sea pens. The sea pen in this case is the reddish cylinder on the left. The armina in Pierre's photo is coming up from under the sand, reaching out to eat the base of the sea pen.

SURG members dived in the same area where Eva and Pierre found it, and after inspecting countless sea pens found a few, shown on the left. A few were collected and given to Dr. Terrence Gosliner for description.
References:
Nudibranchs of the Cape Penisula and False Bay. G Zsilavecz, 2007.
Nudibranchs of the World, H Debelius and RH Kuiter, 2007
Nudibranchs of Southern Africa - a guide to the opisthobranch molluscs of southern Africa, T Gosliner, 1987.
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