Two Corambe on their lace animal. Note that the pattern on the nudibranch is similar, but nowhere near as well-defined as that of the lace animal - and it is this which makes it stand out somewhat.
Two more. The diameter is about the size of a R1 coin, or smaller.
An individual with egg case.
Close-up of the feeding tentacles of the rustic lace animal, highly magnified. All photos Guido Zsilavec.
This species has been eluding SURG for a long time. It is associated with a lace animal, a bryozoan, the rustic lace animal Membranipora membranacea. This bryozoa lives on kelp fronds, and is easily spotted, as the lattice-work stands out given its pale colour, and the dark brown of the kelp. While the nudibranch is quite well camouflaged, that it does not have a perfectly parallel pattern does make it stand out enough that one would spot one by not even looking too hard. Except we've never seen it until now. The reason we probably have not seen it before is that it seems to occur sporadically - the specimens shown were found on in a single, small, patch of kelp, while looking for other kelp-dwelling nudibranchs. While they were present for about a month, after that they had vanished, and searches in the kelp surrounding the little patch revealed plenty of lace animal patches on the kelp, but no Corambe's!
The rustic lace animal, incidentally, is a colonial animal, where each little segment in the lattice shown is the tube from which the animal extends its tentacles in order to feed. The photo showing the animals is a crop from a super-macro photo, and is hence highly magnified - you would not be able to see these with the naked eye.
A field guide to the Marine Animals of the Cape Peninsula, G Jones, 2008
Nudibranchs of Southern Africa - a guide to the opisthobranch molluscs of southern Africa, T. Gosliner, 1987