A Purple Lady in white and unusually pale red cerata. Photo Guido Zsilavecz
A Purple Lady in its more common colouration. Photo Georgina Jones
|Purple lady (Flabellina funeka) in the Atlantic
This species was previously only known to occur in False Bay and further east, so finding it in the Atlantic, as SURG member Georgina Jones did in 2014, at Vulcan rock, and now at Star Walls, means it is definitely a range extension (on further searching, it was noticed that Guido Zsilavecz had seen it at Oudekraal in 2011 as well.) Georgina spotted the more common version which inspired the Purple Lady name. The species also comes in white with red cerata, tipped in white. The specimen SURG member Guido Zsilavecz spotted seem to him at first glance to be the orange-eyed nudibranch (Cratena capensis), which has the white body/red cerata tipped in white look as well. While the "orange eyes" (actually colour spots, not eyes), were not present, on a small specimen they are not immediately obvious - and the reason it was though to be this species is because the cerata were more of an orange-red than the deep red normally expected in the Purple Lady, as shown in Georgina's specimen.
For more details on this species, see "Nudibranchs of the Cape Peninsula and False Bay" and "A field guide to the Marine Animals of the Cape Peninsula" available directly from SURG or better dive and book stores in Cape Town.
Nudibranchs of the Cape Peninsula and False Bay, G Zsilavecz, 2007
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