Southeastern Australia from eastern South Australia and northern Tasmania to central Victoria.
TOP RIGHT: West Head, Flinders, Westernport Bay, Victoria, Australia. March 1986. Shell length 4mm approx. Inset showing protoconch. LOWER RIGHT: same animal from right side. LOWER LEFT: Goat Island Bch, Ulverstone, nthn Tasmania, Australia. On Caulerpa geminata. February 1984. Animal 9mm long (shell approx 5mm).
PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.
"Shell small, up to 8 mm in length, slender, trigonal, high anteriorly, narrowly rounded posteriorly, protoconch large and erect, colour yellowish. Body including shell mantle green, sometimes with cream patches along mantle margins and cream speckles on rhinophores; neck and rhinophores slender. This species ranges from south-eastern S.A. and northern Tas. to central Vic., from the lower intertidal to 3 m deep in bays and along the open coast. It occurs on and eats the green algae Caulerpa scalpelliformis, C. geminata and C. cactoides. It has been found only from mid-summer to autumn (January-May)." Description from Burn, 1989: 749.
Burn (1960) originally misidentified this species as Berthelinia typica (Gatliff & Gabriel) but he corrected his error in 1965 where he renamed this species, Tamanovalva babai, and redescribed Gatliff & Gabriel's species as Edenttellina typica. In Tamanovalva, the larval shell (protoconch) is very prominently displayed on the apex of the left shell valve (see Inset in upper photo). This clearly shows the gastropod (snail) relationships of these animals. The discovery of living animals of these strange 'bivalved gastropods' by Kawaguti & Baba (1960) in Japan caused a stir in the scientifc community and a rush to Caulerpa beds worldwide to find more species. Compare this species with the other two southeastern Australian species Midorigai australis and Edenttellina typica.
• Burn, R.F. (1960) Australian bivalve gastropods. Nature, 187(4731): 44-46.
• Burn, R.F. (1965) Rediscovery and taxonomy of Edenttellina typica Gatliff and Gabriel. Nature, 206(4985): 735-736.
• Burn, R. (1989) Chapter 12. Opisthobranchs (Subclass Opisthobranchia). In: Shepherd, S.A. & Thomas, I.M. (Editors) Marine Invertebrates of Southern Australia Part 2, South Australian Government Printer, Adelaide.
Rudman, W.B., 2001 (October 16) Tamanovalva babai Burn, 1965. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/tamababa