Not very common, and certainly one of the strangest nudibranchs on the California and outer Baja California coast is Hancockia californica . Little is know about this strange little Dendronotacean with the weird palmate cerata, having from 4 to 16 digitations on each ceras. There is a similar process to each side of the head, also. To add to the uniqueness, the rhinophores are a fluted pulpit shape.
The color varies quite a bit from the mottled specimen from Baja California to much lighter colored specimens like this one collected in summer 2002 at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, by Mary Ellen Hill and Carolyn Schooley, at the northernmost extent of its known range.
The genus is named in 1872 for British biologist Albany Hancock and the species name given by MacFarland denotes its type locality of California. Hancockia californica is quite small reaching only about 15 mm in length and is currently known from Punta Abreojos to Fort Bragg, California. Other species in the genus are Hancockia uncinata (Hesse, 1872), H. burni, Thompson, 1972, and H. ryrce, Marcus 1957.
Hancockia uncinata (Hesse, 1872) is known from the Bay of Biscay in Great Britain to St. John's Point, Co Donegal, NW Ireland; Mediterranean France; Spain; and Naples.
The "Mendocino Nudibranchs " exhibit that Mary Ellen Hill & Caroline Schooley
assembled a few years ago has been shown several times in Mendocino
and Fort Bragg. It will be on display all summer (weekends only) as
part of the marine science exhibit at Point Cabrillo lighthouse,
between Mendocino and Fort Bragg. Photos of about 3 dozen species,
plus a bit of text about biology & ecology |
For more information contact
Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org
David W. Behrens
Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
Send Dave mail at email@example.com