Purple Octopus - using citizen science to discover marine interactions
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Burnaia helicochorda

(M. C. Miller, 1988)

Caitlin Woods Hi, I'm having trouble identifying this little cutie from Northern NSW, thx!

Lucas CerCur Caitlin, do you have more potos? It remain me to Burnaia helicochorda, but this species has been recorded very few times and always from southern Australia.

Lucas CerCur The genus Burnaia and its type species, B. helicochorda, were described in 2001 by Michael Miller.

Lucas CerCur Is this the first time that you find this nudibranch?

Caitlin Woods Hi Lucas, thanks, yeah it was the one and only specimen I found during extensive surveys of the area.. I'll post a few more piccies..

Caitlin Woods :)

Lucas CerCur If you find more specimens, I''ll be glad if you could send me. In fact, we are completing our studies of the family Aeolidiidae studying material (2 specimens) from the Melbourne área.

Carola Hofmann Sorry for the poor photo. Any change you could still id it? It was about 15mm, and we found it at 13m at Cook Island Mooring 2. It is some kind of Aeolidiidae? Thanks so much for your help!

Deb Aston Think it is Babakina indopacifica, nice find. I found a juvenille at Cook Island a long time ago.

Lucas CerCur I agree.

Lucas CerCur I would acknowledge so much if someone that find B. caprinsulensis could collect it.

Patrik Good Collecting is one thing, preserving and shipping is the other one. 'Citizen scientists' need more information on what scientists are interested in having collected. What is your area of interest, Lucas CerCur?

Gary Cobb Yes Patrik collecting is one thing, scientist need to tell us how to preserve, for DNA in absolute alcohol or preserving for anatomical work in a percentage of ethanol and fresh water.

Gary Cobb Babkina caprinsulensis is endemic to New Zealand.

Lucas CerCur Hi Deb, Gary and Patrik, here they are two links of papers co-authored by me concerning the genus Bakakina. We have revised the systematic of this genus both from molecular and morphological approach. However, to have a complete picture of the genus we need material og B. caprinsulensis:

Lucas CerCur http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1096-3642.2007.00331.x/abstract

Lucas CerCur http://mollus.oxfordjournals.org/content/77/4/417.extract

Lucas CerCur I don't know if maybe it would be possible to find in Lord How Island.

Lucas CerCur When collecting, speciems have to be narcotized (if possible) with Cl2Mg. Then, the specimens should be preserved in ethanol 96%. All information concerning to the collected material is useful. Each specimen have to be in separate vials. Each specimen should be photographed also, before narcotized.

Lucas CerCur I have upload the pdfs of the two Babakina papers.

Patrik Good Thanks for the downloads. They will make for some interesting read. We will certainly have an eye out on the B. caprinsulensis. But help might be needed to do the right thing after collecting. If nobody shows interest I normally return my critters within 24 to 48 hours.

Patrik Good Another issue to consider: as far as I know Lord Howe, Cook Islands NSW, Flinders Reef, Flat Rock and others are protected habitat and no take zones. Collecting critters might be illegal there and draw hefty fines. That makes the help of citizen scientists almost impossible unless they could be granted a permit to collect.

Lucas CerCur Patrik, ask me any thing that you need.

Lucas CerCur Of course, I want the collection under the legality.

Gary Cobb Patrik Babkina caprinsulensis is endemic to New Zealand. And yes collecting in the Marine Parks is illegal!

Gary Cobb Lucas which species are you looking for? Are there funds to help ship? Do we need any authorisation to mail specimens?

Lucas CerCur Gary, we are currently studying species belongin to the genera Limenandra, Berghia, Spurilla, Antaeolidiella, Aeolidiella, Baeolidia, Ceberilla,...and others, all of them of the Family Aeolidiidae. Moreover, the study of Babakina caprinsulensis is waiting for the collection of fresh material.

Lucas CerCur No material of B. caprinsulensis is housed in Museums, even in Te Papa Museum (N Zaaland). In this museum there is the photo of the specimen described by Miller in 1974 and the radsula mounted in a slide. That's all.

Lucas CerCur Concerning permision, I could write a letter to support the collection of material. Of course, all parts and specimens colleted in protected areas would be hosed in proper Museums (Australia or N Zealand). Concerning to funds for collection and shipping, I could support to send consumables as well as the shipping to me.

Lucas CerCur A very important thing to mention to the adequate authorities is that none opisthobranch species is included in the CITES agreement.

Lucas CerCur Species of special interest would be Aeoldiella faustina/macleayi, Spurilla australis, Burnaia helicochorda and Cerberilla spp., moreover Babakina caprinsulensis.

Animalia (Kingdom)
  Mollusca (Phylum)
    Gastropoda (Class)
      Heterobranchia (Subclass)
        Opisthobranchia (Infraclass)
          Nudibranchia (Order)
            Dexiarchia (Suborder)
              Aeolidida (Infraorder)
                Aeolidioidea (Superfamily)
                  Aeolidiidae (Family)
                    Burnaia (Genus)
                      Burnaia helicochorda (Species)
Associated Species