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Herviella claror

Species Profile

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Herviella claror

Author: Burn, 1963

Order: Nudibranchia  Family: Facelinidae

Maximum Size: 12 mm

Sightings: Sunshine Coast; Whitsundays


Herviella claror Burn, 1963

Herviella claror is a small aeolid nudibranch. The body, notum and head are white with black speckling evenly distributed. The long, slender and smooth rhinophores are closely inserted and black-speckled, apart from the distal third that is cream to very pale yellow in colour. The oral tentacles are of a similar length and colouration to the rhinophores. Eye spots are visible in pigment-free patches just posterior to the rhinophore bases.The cerata are fusiform in shape, translucent white with black speckling on their anterior face and the brown digestive gland is visible within. The tips of the cerata are white with a distinctive subapical orange band. The anterior foot corners are expanded and rounded, and the tail is short and tapered.

Most often found in shallow intertidal waters under stones or rubble.

Known from eastern Australian waters. The type locality is Woody Head, north of the Clarence River Heads, New South Wales, Australia.

The specific name of claror is from the Latin alluding to the “bright” appearance of the animal.

Herviella is a genus of small aeolid nudibranchs. Baba, 1949 raised the genus with the type species Herviella yatsui (Baba,1930). He added Herviella affinis Baba, 1960. 

Herviella claror and Herviella affinis are remarkably similar in external appearance. To differentiate, Herviella affinis has longer cerata with the black speckling limited to their proximal third and and a broad opaque white band is visible directly beneath the orange band.  Additionally, in Herviella affinis, the rhinophores bear a distinctive black band at their mid-length.

The Herviella affinis listed on the Slug Site, 2005 is misidentified. It is shown correctly as Herviella claror on the photographer’s website, Riek, 2023.

David A. Mullins – December 2023

– ​Baba, K. (1949) Opisthobranchia of Sagami Bay collected by His Majesty The Emperor of Japan. Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo.

– Baba, K. (1960). The genus Herviella and a new species, H. affinis, from Japan (Nudibranchia – Eolidacea). Publications of the Seto Marine Biological Laboratory. 8(2): 303-305.

– Burn, R. F. (1963). Descriptions of Australian Eolidacea Mollusca: Opisthobranchia). 1. The genera Catriona and Herviella. Journal of the Malacological Society of Australia, 7, pp.12-pp.20.

– Burn, R. F. (1967). Revision of the genus Herviella (Opisthobranchia: Eolidacea). Malacologia 6(1-2), 223-230.

– Miller, M., Image by Riek, D. (2005). The Slug Site:

– Nimbs, M.J., Smith, S.D.A. (2017). An illustrated inventory of the sea slugs of New South Wales, Australia (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia). Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 128: 44-113.

– Gosliner, T. M., Valde ́s, A ́. & Behrens, D. W. (2018). Nudibranch & Sea Slug Identification – Indo-Pacific, 2nd Edition. New World Publications, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

– Riek, D. (2023). Accessed 30-12-2023.

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