Taringa luteola Gosliner & Behrens, 1998
As mentioned previously in the Slug of the Week discussions on the newly described species, Taringa halgerda, Terry Gosliner and I felt a redescription of this critter was necessary in light of its similarities to our new species, and its obvious incorrect placement taxonomically.
Taringa luteola was most recently referred to as Trippa luteola due to Elliot's work in 1906. Previously the little guy has also been called Thordisa caudata, and was originally named Doris luteola by E. F. Kelaart in 1858. The body shape is similar to that of Taringa halgerda, and the gills and rhinophores are black, having caused some recent misidentifications in the field. Both species have creamy white bodies, but T. luteola has a yellow marginal band and a broken ring of yellow pigment at the central of the mantle, extending from just posterior to the rhinophores to immediately in front of the gills.
After evaluation of several closely related genera, we placed both species in Taringa because of the dentition of the radular teeth and typical cuticular lining of the distal portion of the vas deferens.
Very little is known about this species. Its published distribution limits it to the western Indian Ocean of Madagascar, Tanzania and Sri Lanka. Likely a sponge grazer, it would be interesting to know if this species has a distinctively colored egg mass like that of T. halgerda. Please let us know if you bump into this little cutie on one of your sojourns.
Terrence M. Gosliner and David W. Behrens. 1998.Two New Discodorid Nudibranchs from the Western Pacific with a Redescription of Doris Luteola Kelaart, 1858. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 50(11): 279-293, 7 Figs.
David W. Behrens
Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
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