Aegires villosus

Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

Aegires villosus Farran, 1905

Aegires villosus is a small, but colorful Notodorid species. Typical of this group it has a relatively hard, rigid body, covered with slender, round tipped papillae, which are recognized by the species name "villosus." Variations to the white with crimson-red marked color pattern shown here in Saul's photo, can be seen in examples given in Wells & Bryce, Sea Slugs of Western Australia, pg. 92 and in Debelius' Nudibranchs and Sea Snails, pg. 192. The smooth, simple rhinophores are always orange with a crimson tip, as are the extra-branchial appendages that surround the white gill.

Usually less that 2 cm in length, it is widely distributed through-out the Indo-Pacific.

I believe the genus name Aegires is from the Greek Aegis, for breast plate or shield. All species in this genus have morphologically distinct papillae situated around the gill and rhinophores, presumably providing protection, as did the armor of Zeus and later, Athena.

Text courtesy of Dave Behrens
Photos courtesy of Dr. Saul Gonor

Dr. Saul Gonor is a 43 year old urologist from Saskatoon, Canada who has been diving extensively since 1980. He saw his first nudibranch in 1986, and has been fascinated by and photographing them ever since. He is also enthusiastic about photographing rays and cetaceans. When he is not diving, he listens to a lot of music.

The above pic was taken with a Nikon F4 in an Aquatica 4 housing, using a Nikon SB103 and an Ikelite MV strobe, primarily on TTL. I usually use Kodachrome 64 or Velvia, but occasional shots may have been taken with Sensia 100.

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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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