Physical Characteristics

Epimenia australis may grow as long as 4.33 in (11 cm) and as wide as 0.19-0.23 in (5-6 mm). There are irregular iridescent bright green or blue patches against a reddish brown background along the upper surface and sides of the organism, with raised reticulate (netlike) ridges and verrucae (wartlike projections) between the patches. Epimenia australis has spicules lying parallel to the body; the spicules cross each other running from the front of the lower surface to the rear of the upper surface and from the rear of the lower surface to the front of the upper surface. The cuticle is thicker within the ridges and verrucae, and the spicules stand entirely upright, extending in thick clumps beyond the cuticle. The head end is narrower than the posterior end when the organism is viewed from above; the posterior end is somewhat flattened dorsoventrally and is usually bent downward into a hook. The part of the head in front of the somewhat protruded pedal pit is lifted off the substrate, with the vestibule held open. The animals are stiff to handle. Epimenia australis has a radula with about 200 rows of teeth on a distinct pedestal; a pedal pit with two joined lobes; and several footfolds toward the front, decreasing to three and then to one toward the rear of the animal.

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