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Southwest Florida Shells with Emphasis on Sanibel & Captiva

By José H. Leal

Family Aeolidiidae

Spurilla braziliana

MacFarland, 1909

Brazilian Spurilla

Size to 80 mm; slug with large number of cerata, cerata curled distally. Color variable, light-pink to orange, ducts of digestive gland in cerata gray to brown. Feeds on sea-anemones, may assimilate cnidocytes (stinging cells) from the sea-anemones it feeds on to use as their own defensive mechanism. Species widely distributed in tropical western Atlantic Ocean. Egg mass resembles thin noodles. Photo by Ángel Valdés. Egg case photo (Kice Island) by Amy Tripp, 12/2011. (formerly identified as Spurilla neapolitana (delle Chiaje, 1844), the type specie of the genus). This latter is restricted to the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea.