Hancockia sp. 1
Known from New Caledonia and Japan
Lagoon between mainland and Récif de l'Infernet, off Koumac, New Caledonia, 20°34.4'S, 164°13'E, 12m, Silty bottom with dense gorgonian beds, 4 October 1993, 17mm long alive. PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.
Very few species of this distinctive genus have been described (Thompson, 1972). One species, Iduliana papillata O'Donoghue, 1932, from southern India, is probably a species of Hancockia, but the description is difficult to interpret. The only other species described from the Indo-West Pacific is H. burni Thompson, 1972, from eastern Australia. That species ranges from a pale translucent brown to a dark brown with white patching. This species from New Caledonia, is possibly a new species. It differs in being dark brown with a network of fine white lines over the dorsum and the sides of the body. Species of Hancockia are often found on brown laminarian algae and kelp, where they are well camouflaged and feed on hydroids growing on the algae.
• MacFarland, F.M. (1923) The morphology of the nudibranch genus Hancockia. Journal of Morphology 38(1): 65-104, Pls 1-6.
• Thompson, T.E. (1972) Eastern Australian Dendronotoidea (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 51(1): 63-77.
Rudman, W.B., 2001 (January 23) Hancockia sp. 1 [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/hancsp1