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Intertidal records of 'sea slugs' from northern North Island, New Zealand

Margaret S. Morley
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Bruce W. Hayward
Geomarine Research (New Zealand)
5 February 2016


We record the intertidal or shallow subtidal (<2–3 m) occurrence of 78 species of ‘sea slug’ from northern North Island of New Zealand. One (Goniodoris n.sp.) is recorded for the first time. The majority are briefly described, illustrated and their records plotted on maps. Three taxa are probably undescribed new species. All except two (Aphelodoris sp., Trinchesia re exa) of the species have been recorded from along the east coast (warmer water Aupourian Province) but only 44% (34 spp.) have been recorded from the west coast (cooler Cookian Province). The highest diversity of intertidal/shallow water ‘sea slugs’ has been recorded from the Leigh area (47 spp.), Bay of Islands (42 spp.) and Great Barrier Island (38 spp.) reflecting the intensity of survey (Leigh) and diversity of habitats on the warmer coast (latter two). Of the harbours, 33 spp. are recorded from the Waitemata, 27 spp. from Parengarenga and 24 spp. from the Manukau, reflecting the intensity of survey (Waitemata, Manukau) and unusual warm conditions of far north Parengarenga. Of the ‘sea slugs’ recorded herein, 45% are endemic to New Zealand and nine of these are endemic to northern New Zealand.

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