Nembrotha purpureolineata

Image courtesy of Deb Aston
Greta's Reef, Gold Coast Seaway, Queensland, Australia

Nembrotha purpureolineata O'Donoghue, 1924

Jim Black and I made a memorable trip to Southern Australia in March to take pictures of leafy sea dragons and of course look for sea slugs. As a part this trip, I was able to renew acquaintances with Deb Aston and Glenys Greenwood who were both instrumental in helping Jim and I with the diving logistics of diving Southern Australia. Deb, Glenys, and myself were participants in Richard Willan's Nudibranch Workshop held two yeara ago at Kenieng, New Ireland, PNG.

During one of our meal time discussions, Deb proposed doing Nembrotha purpureolineata as a BOW. Looking at past BOW's, I discovered that it had not been done, at least under that name! Years ago it may have been featured as Nembrotha c.f. rutilans ! You say maybe? N. rutilans is now considered to be a junior synonym of N. purpureolineata . Or to confuse the picture even more, perhaps it is N. aurea?

There is a very interesting discussion on this quandry that can be read at Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum . The reader in invited to visit Bill's site and decide for themselves who we are dealing with here! I'm sure that irregardless of the identification question, the reader will agree that Deb's images had to go up!


Pola, M., Cervera, J.L. and Gosliner, T.M. 2008. Revision of the Indo-Pacific genus Nembrotha (Nudibranchia: Dorididae: Polyceridae), with description of two new species. Scientia Marina 72(1): 145-183.

Michael Miller
San Diego, CA 92113
April, 2014
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Deb Aston on location

I have been a recreational scuba diver since 1983 and together with my husband Ted and dive Buddy Audrey, enjoy many hours underwater. I guess you can call me a dive addict, as I will dive anywhere anytime, and prefer the smaller critters to be found in the marine underworld. It is rare to find me without a camera and still happy to say I see something new on nearly every dive. Our home base dive site is the Gold Coast Seaway, the only shore dive in SE Qld, and an amazing place it is. Since 1 July 2011 I have surveyed the Gold Coast Seaway for sea slugs, to date I have recorded 134 species with many of them first time records for Queensland and some for Australia. Unfortunately the local council wants to build a cruise ship terminal in the seaway and the dredging required will destroy this area as a divesite and nursery area, the fight is on!! More info can be found at

For dives offshore we use our small rigid inflatable boat called 'Duck Diver'. 'Duck Diver' has travelled as far north as Bargara to dive Cochrane Artificial Reef, Qld and south to Jervis Bay, NSW and lots of great places in between. We prefer to explore Australian waters rather than short trips overseas and love the shore diving in South Australia and Mornington Peninsula.

Deb Aston can be contacted on or

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From left to right, Terry Gosliner, Angel Valdes, Dave Behrens La Jolla, Calif.

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