Phyllidiopsis gemmata -Nudibranch Facts and Photographs

Phyllidiopsis gemmata

The Phyllidiopsis gemmate is a species of colourful sea slug. They are dorid nudibranchs, marine gastropod mollusks. They were first described in Java in 1957 by Pruvot-Fol.

APPEARANCE

Phyllidiopsis gemmata have an elongated shape and three lines of pinkish tubercles longditudinally across the middle of the body separated by black lines. The outer lines usually extend the whole way across the body but in this specimen they do not. The lower sides are covered in pink tubercles interspersed with black lines.The rhinophores are black on the rear and top and pinkish on the front on this specimen. This specimen was photographed on Octopus reef off Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. The colors are untouched and this specimen seems to have higher and thicker tubercles than most others reported and the outer black lines do not extend all the way to the rear of the body. This specimen was approximately 65 to 70 mm in length which is larger than those reported elsewhere.

Phyllidiopsis gemmata

IN THE WILD

The Phyllidiopsis gemmata are not that common in Tanzania but are very occasionally seen on the top of some reefs at about 15 meters in depth. They have  the ability to secrete toxic substances which provides protection against predators. Being fairly slow moving they are easy to observe while diving. They seem to sense a diver and head for cover, probably not appreciating having lights shone on them.

HABITAT

The Phyllidiopsis gemmata is found across the Indo west Pacific area . They are found on rocky and coral reefs to a depth of 30 meters.

Phyllidiopsis gemmata

DIET

Presently the diet of Phyllidiopsis gemmate is not known.

REPRODUCTION

They are simultaneous hermaphrodites and mating takes place by darting. The individual who darts the other first becomes the dominant male and the other the female. Eggs are laid on a solid substrate and when they hatch the larvae become planktonic before growing into adults.

IMAGES

Phyllidiopsis gemmataPhyllidiopsis gemmata

PHYLLIDIOPSIS GEMMATA CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom:AnimaliaKingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia
clade Euthyneura
clade Nudipleura
clade Nudibranchia
clade Euctenidiacea
clade Doridacea
Superfamily: Phyllidioidea
Family: Phyllidiidae
Genus: Phyllidiopsis
Species:P. gemmata

LITERATURE CITED

EQUIPMENT USED

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