Tambja olivaria – Nudibranch Facts and Photographs

Tambja olivaria

Tambja olivaria also known as the Olive Tambja, is a dorid nudibranch and was described in 1994 by Nathalie Yonow from a specimen in the Maldives. To date we have only seen two specimens, both in Chole Bay in the Mafia Island Marine Park on Mafia Island in Tanzania.

Tambja olivaria

APPEARANCE

Tambja olivaria have an elongated shape with an overall olive green colour giving them their name. There are variable black and yellow markings usually with yellow between the rhinopores and yellow lines on the anterior section which has a dark blackish colored ending. The Rhinopores are a dark blackish green and the gills are olive on the  exterior face and green on the interior faces.  The specimens we have seen have been between 70mm and 80 mm in length.

Tambja olivaria

TAMBJA OLIVARIA IN THE WILD

The two specimens we have seen have seen have both been in the same location, on Mafia Island in Chole Bay on Corinne Reef and Milimani Reef with an unfortunate camera fail with the second one which was seen on the end of a second dive when my batteries failed.  The collector of the holotype noted that it extruded a green acidic liquid which burnt his hands. They are among the fastest moving nudibranchs we have seen.

Tambja olivaria

HABITAT

Tambja olivaria  appears to be found across the Indo West Pacific area and aside from the Maldives have been sited in the Philippines and Reunion.

Tambja olivaria

DIET

Tambja olivaria  is thought to feed on an arborescent bryozoan, Bugula dentata .

Tambja olivaria

REPRODUCTION

Tambja olivaria are simultaneous hermaphrodites and mating takes place by connecting the sexual organs which are on the right hand side of the body. Once the two organs hook up sperm is transfered across to each specimen. Eggs are laid on a solid substrate and when they hatch the larvae become planktonic before growing into adults.

Tambja olivaria

IMAGES

TAMBJA OLIVARIA CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Subclass:Heterobranchia
Infraclass:Euthyneura
Clade: Nudipleura
Clade Euctenidiacea
Order: Nudibranchia
Superfamily: Polyceroidea
Family: Polyceridae
Genus: Tambja
Species:T. olivaria

LITERATURE CITED

EQUIPMENT USED

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