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Hero formosa

(Lovén, 1844)

Craig Muirhead Hero formosa. Loch Fyne - Scotland 03/02/13

David Kipling That's rare round here, nothing on NBN since 2000, wow! How deep was this Craig? [Bizarrely, this species is well-recorded offshore in the N Sea].

Craig Muirhead Yes David, my regular dive buddy Jim Anderson had told me about how rare it was. The record from 2000 is his I believe and we actually found another on the same reef (and in the same month of the year) as the 2000 specimen in Loch Fyne a few weeks ago. Jim has posted a pic on his website (http://www.nudibranch.org/Scottish%20Nudibranchs/html/hero-formosa-02.html). I didn't get a pic at the time as I had temporarily misplaced my buddy ;-) As it happens it was Jim who spotted this one on a site called Stallion Rock but his camera battery had died so he didn't get the shot this time and I did :-) Depth was about 15m.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 16 Feb 2013
Rudolf Svensen Met quite a lot of Hero formosa yesterday. Both pink and yellow/white. Have to get back there soon, we was on our way to the surface, so we could not spend much time photographing them.

Erling Svensen where? I have only seen yellow and white ones

Rudolf Svensen Frafjord. Where the wreck and Norway Lonbster are. Found the first on 35 meter on our way to the surface, and then up to 25 meter we saw quite a lot, but the decompression added up quite fast, so we did not have time for many shots. You have to swim a bit left from where we park the cars, but just call ne and I'll give you the details :-)

Erling Svensen Fine. I do not know how much diving it wil ne the next week

Erling Svensen We have wisit from Den,ark, and Helle will travell to Brazil the 29. of December dayes before we start to fix the kitchen.

Rudolf Svensen I would like to go back, so maybe we could do something together after New Year?

Rudolf Svensen and when you have fixed the kitchen :-P

Erling Svensen I have some dayes before the kitchen work start......

Bernard Picton Try and figure out what they are eating? Could be a hydroid or other cnidarian but no-one seems to know for sure.

Lucas CerCur This is an amazing species. I saw for the first time in Sweeden two years ago.

Lucas CerCur That specimen was white.

Rudolf Svensen Bernard Picton, we'll see if we can figure it out if we go back and find them.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 22 Dec 2012
Rudolf Svensen Is this a juvenile Hero formosa?

Christian Skauge Yes it is ;-)

Marta Pola Yes!!!

Erling Svensen Nice picture. From where?

Rudolf Svensen From the dive we had in Fedafjorden. It was so small I did not see what it was until i got it on my screen. Have seen much larger slugs like this i Frafjord

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 20 Feb 2012
Erling Svensen Did a dive yesterday with my brother in Stavanger (yes, its in the city itself - in the harbour). Dived down to the "hundreds" of Tritonia lineata. Got one picture with 3 nudies on - all in different size. Nice, or.... :-)

Christian Skauge Very cool picture! It seems this species is not at all uncommon, and maybe has its peak this time of the year. That would explain why its so uncommon later on. I saw the same thing with the Hero formosa.

Marta Pola Could you collect some specimens for molecular studies for me? That would be great for my research!

Erling Svensen Marta: I do not know when I will be in Stavanger at this spot for diving next time. Its 1,5 hours drive from Egersund where I live. May be my brother Rudolf will dive this spot earlier than me, so an option is to ask him about collecting some. We can keep in contact. Do you put them in alcohol or formalin?

Marta Pola alcohol, please. And pictures...It would be great. Thanks

Rudolf Svensen Maybe we will dive there within the next two weeks. How many do you need?

David Kipling Erling, do you want to start a Tritonia lineata album and post this picture in it? Other people can then post their own examples as well.

Marta Pola That would be great David. And 5 specimens will be great Rudolf. Thanks!

Rudolf Svensen Hi Marta Pola . We dived the Tritonia lineata spot today. It seem like the slugs have grown a lot since february, but still there are Tritonia lineata in all sizes. I collected 5 specimens for you, but the problem is I have no alcohol, well I have beer, but I do not think that is good for nudies ;-) so I see if I can get some tomorrow. For the time they live in a big bucket. The temperature outside is the same as in the water, so I hope they will live. So if I get the alcohol tomorrow, how do I get them to you? You can contact me on e-mail rudolf@uwphoto.no

Christian Skauge Worst case let me know Rudolf, I have a handful of small collection boxes with alcohol - I can send one :-)

Erling Svensen Rudolf - I have still 1 - 2 liters left after the 10 liter barrel bought by a fishing-boat 15 years ago for other purpose than nudies..... Bernard used some of it 3-4 years ago.

Rudolf Svensen Erling. Can you send some to Stavanger quite quck?

Sarah Bowen Following on from David's comment, there's already a small album called Tritonia lineata looking for next meal; see if you can drop them in there!

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 14 Feb 2012
Christian Skauge Hero formosa, Gulen Dive Resort, Norway, Jan 21. 2012, 22 mtrs. This species is commonly regarded as rare in Norway, and I have not seen it more than 4-5 times. Ofteb found on silty bottom, but this time they were abundant at hard bottom among Tubularia hydroids at 20-25 meters. I easily found 15-20 of them on one dive, so they seem to have a peak this time of the year and not later as many species do. Seasluforum lists gymnoblastic and calyptoblastic hydroids as their food source.

Christian Skauge This may be part of the reason for it being regarded as "rare" - maybe most people haven't been looking at the right time of year :-)

Jim Anderson I've only seen this once - in January 2000 at 20m on silty rock.

Christian Skauge I know, this is a rare bugger. I quintupled my number of sightings in just one dive :-)

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 03 Feb 2012
Erling Svensen

Erling Svensen Nightdive in Egersund harbour last night. Many, many interesting nudies out walking this evening. Even the Hero formosa - for the third time in my life - and two of them! The dive was very interesting and it is high season for these small animals. I will give you some (the one that I feel is the highlights) to look at and makes you feel that diving is good for the time beeing.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 23 Mar 2012
Bernard Picton

Christian Skauge Nice!! This species is usually very rare in Norway, and has just been spotted a few times in recent years. We found it at last year's Nudibranch Safari as well, remember :-) How deep was this Erling? T. lineata seems to be thriving on hard bottom with no apparent food source in relatively deep water. I have seen it two times, both at around 27-28 meters depth. Good pictures too!

Bernard Picton I agree, I can never figure out what they are eating. It ought to be a soft coral, I suggested Sarcodictyon in my book.

Christian Skauge Seaslugforum also states "unknown" in regards to food. But the miniscule coral you suggest would be consistent with where I have found it both times. Since our other Tritonia sp. also feed on soft coral this seems very near-fetched :-)

João Pedro Silva Never seen it and it's not included in the most recent checklist for Iberia... but the distribution range suggests it may be also present here in Portugal.

David Kipling Loads of them in west Wales, often on silty sites in relatively shallow water (well I don't generally dive deep!). You get the impression that they are grazing on something just under the surface of the silt.

Christian Skauge Interesting observation - so different from what I have seen here in Norway :-)

David Kipling I'll dig out a small album of T. lineata pictures and see what you think.

Christian Skauge Cool, let us have a look :-)

Erling Svensen Well, I was down at 45 meters. Lots and lots of them.

Christian Skauge haha that certainly proves that this is a deep species in out parts of the wood :-)

Erling Svensen Deep sea specie?? (is that deep?) ;-)

Christian Skauge Well... deeper than most nudies then.. I know you don't think 45 m is deep :-D

Bernard Picton Tell them about the sponges on my visit - no, on second thoughts, maybe not!

Erling Svensen I will never, never tell them, Bernard, that you dived to 55 meters and would come with me back ut because there was so many, nice sponges... (never.....)

Erling Svensen ... not come with me back up......

Bernard Picton Had to take a couple of photos, I'm not as quick as you are!

Sarah Bowen Is this forum going to be an opportunity to tell tales on each other's bad diving habits then?!

Bernard Picton No! Serious matters of Sea Slug biology only! No jokes, unless they are funny personal anecdotes. We're making the rules up as we go along Sarah...

Sarah Bowen Fine by me; promise to be more constructive with posts in future and leave the village idiot ones to David!

Kate Lock Not sure about the deep water - this is one of the most common species that we find in West Wales.....and in Skomer MNR we find them at all depths...from 5m down to 30m...(don't often venture deeper)...most of the sites are moderate current and moderate wave exposure and are usually found on the slightly silty bryozoan turf. I am not convinced that they feed on a soft coral! But am open to persuasion....

Bernard Picton Skomer is the one place I know of where you can find them regularly Kate. And I agree, there is usually no sign of what they could be eating.

Bernard Picton Sarah, It is intended to be quite light-hearted... Life's too short to be that serious..

Kate Lock mmm so Skomer seems to be the most popular place for Tritonia lineata and Facelina annulicornis......both pretty scarce elsewhere ....wonder if they have anything in common?

Liz Morris Sorry Bernard, we seem to go through phases of having lots of them around here too just like Kate. Mind you, I've not seen lots for a couple of year. Possibly depending on the month I guess. I'll keep my eyes peeled!

Christian Skauge Time of year is also sometimes very important. It would seem this species is peaking now, and not in march/april as most of our northern species does. See new post on the Hero formosa.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 02 Feb 2012
Animalia (Kingdom)
  Mollusca (Phylum)
    Gastropoda (Class)
      Heterobranchia (Subclass)
        Opisthobranchia (Infraclass)
          Nudibranchia (Order)
            Dexiarchia (Suborder)
               Dexiarchia (Infraorder)
                Heroidae (Family)
                  Hero (Genus)
                    Hero formosa (Species)
Associated Species