Family Velutinidae

The Velutinidae is a group of mollusks that resemble sea slugs but are more closely related to groups such as the cowries. They have often colored tissue that covers an internal, thin shell. In the Marshalls, there is a large black blob that sits out in the open and is easy to recognize, and there is a small, often colorful but usually cryptic species (or multiple species) that hides under rocks or in algae. Most of the latter resemble the colonial tunicates upon which they prey, or they look like blobs of colored sponge and debris. We often run across them while hunting for nudibranchs, but it has been difficult to get any positive species identifications. For all we know, they all could belong to a single extremely variable species, or they could all be different. We present a variety of specimens, sorted mostly by appearance, in the hopes that someone out there will become interested enough to try to sort all these things out. Except for the large black blob, all the rest are listed as species of Lamellaria, although even that is not certain.

Coriocella nigra
orange tunicate mimic
Lamellaria peach tunicate mimic
Lamellaria pink tunicate mimic
Lamellaria red tunicate mimic
Lamellaria white tunicate mimic1
Lamellaria white tunicate mimic2
Lamellaria white tunicate mimic3
Lamellaria yellow tunicate mimic 1
Lamellaria yellow tunicate mimic 2
Lamellaria brown tunicate mimic
Lamellaria black sponge mimic
Lamellaria brown sponge mimic 1
Lamellaria brown sponge mimic 2
Lamellaria white sponge mimic 1
Lamellaria white sponge mimic 2
Lamellaria yellow sponge mimic 1
Lamellaria yellow sponge mimic 2
Lamellaria sponge mimic 1
Lamellaria sponge mimic 2
Lamellaria sponge mimics 3

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