Spurilla neapolitana (Delle Chiaje, 1841)
This species of Aeolidacean Nudibranch is mainly characterized by (1) Most all of the cerata extensions from the dorsum are curled distally (2) This species feeds only on sea anemones. This particular species of nudibranch has beef found from the Pan American Faunal Province. "... It seems worthwhile to report on our findings todate: (a) To the best of my knowledge a total of seven specimens are recorded in our field accounts, these include a collecting trip to the Nayrit Coast, Mexico in Feb. 99 in which Don Cadian found a 14 mm specimen under a coral rock. We returned same to the States and have been maintaining this specimen ever since on Anthopeura elegantissima, a sea anemone found locally during tide pool expeditions. This individual has grown to max 87mmx39mm and is doing quite well..."
Webmasters Note: Jim is rather modest in alluding to his rearing of Spurilla neapolitana from a juvenile to an adult. This project required a lot of diligence and time on his part to make possible the photographs that are to follow. On the left the juvenile can be seen at time of collection. The photograph at right portrays the same specimen as an adult some five months later fed on Anthopeura. One may observe the startling pattern changes in and about the rhinophores to the oral tentacles as the juvenile evolved into maturity.
The next set of photos made possible by Jim depict two specimens of (2) Spurilla neapolitana that had been feeding on a large sea anemone Phialoba steinbecki underneath a large rock. The rag tag condition of the sea anemone indicated this feeding had been going on for some time. Assuming that both specimens were jointly feeding on the anemone, the question of why the color variance in the cerata with a common food source comes to mind immediately???? One of nature's many unanswered questions.
This weeks Branch of the Week (BOW) was made possible by retired Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO) branch researcher, Jim Lance. The Webmaster bears total responsibilty for the information presented in this week's presentation based on personal conversations with Jim over the past few months. Jim's patience seems never ending in his conversations with me and for this I am forever in his debt. If you enjoyed this weeks BOW, why not drop Jim a line and see if we can coax future BOW's based on his vast experience in the field!!
Images and Taxonomic information courtesy of:
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