Notodoris serenae Gosliner & Behrens 1997

One of the greatest looking Branchs in the Indo-Pacific, it has always reminded me of a George Lucas "Star Wars" creation. Equiped not only with two glowing light swords as rhinophores, this star ship of a beast has sweeping flying fortresses protecting its non-retractile gills.

Named in recognition of Serena Jebb one of the first divers to make the authors aware of this species, it is known from Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Belau, Pohnpei and Okinawa (Gosliner & Behrens, 1997, Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. Vol 49. No. 9, pg. 287-308).

Found in relative shallow waters, 10-15 meters, it feeds on the calcareous sponge Leucetta chagoensis. It has a firm body and reaches 100 mm in length. The body is dull white to grey with randomly distributed and variably sized low black tuberacles and markings. The foot is yellow and its margin is visable dorsally and laterally when the animal is crawling. The gills are yellow or green with black tips. There are three large, firm arching appendages surrounding the gills. A pattern of reticulating ridges adorn each appendage.

The grey star ship color distinguishes this species from the other three species of Notodoris, all which are bright yellow.

If this slug could talk I know it would say - "May the Force Be With You".

Taxonomic information courtesy of:

David W. Behrens

Author: Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
Co-Author Coral Reef Animals of the Indo Pacific
Propriator of Sea Challengers Natural History Books !

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