Page:Natural History, Mollusca.djvu/137

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125
EOLIS.

a Lucernaria, and I have found the largest of our native species, E. papillosa, eagerly gnawing the tentacles of Actiniæ more bulky than itself.

One of the most lovely of the species is the Crowned Eolis (E. coronata), which is scattered over most parts of our rocky shores; I have taken it in considerable number at Babbicombe, Devon, and likewise at Weymouth, clinging to the under surface of flat stones at extreme low water. When the stone is turned over, an inexperienced collector might readily overlook it, for it takes the appearance

Natural History - Mollusca - Crowned Eolis.png

THE CROWNED EOLIS.

of a shapeless knob of jelly about as large as a pea. On detaching it, however, and dropping it into a glass of clear sea-water, its beauty becomes apparent. It quickly unfolds itself into a slender, tapering animal, about an inch long, and of a clear pellucid appearance, tinged with pink. The papillæ are arranged in six or seven clusters on each side; they are slender, with the central canal of a rich crimson hue, the surface reflecting a brilliant metallic blue, and the tips opaque white. The tints of these organs are exceedingly beautiful; and as the animal