Durvilledoris pusilla (Bergh, 1874)
Durvilledoris pusilla is one of the prettiest little chromodorids known from the Indo-Pacific. It is one of a strikingly similar color group recently reviewed on Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum. What Bill refers to as the Noumea purpurea colour group, includes ten species belonging to the genera Chromodoris, Noumea, Pectenodoris, Hypselodoris and Durvilledoris. All species are pink or purple with a whitish border and whitish longitudinal lines on the body. Bill points out that while the species may look closely related, their internal anatomy show them to be quite distinct and of different genera.
The body of D. pusillais quite Hypselodoris in shape, elongate and tall. The mantle color is pale pink with a broad cream-white or yellowish marginal band. Specimens from the Marshall Islands are reported by Scott Johnson to range from peachy pink to deep orange red. This marginal band is interrupted at the head and behind the gills, and then twice more down each side, by an indentation, leaving this band very thin at the mantle's edge. There is an elongate white patch between the rhinophores and an oval white patch anterior to the gills. The rhinophores and gills are cream with hints of the mantle's pink-orange color.
The species is reported to occur in New South Wales, Australia; Batangas Region, Philippine Islands, the Marshall Islands, and Okinawa. Mike's specimen here was about 25 mm in length and photographed at a depth of about 40 feet, at Sepok Wall, Batangas, Luzon, Philippines.
Taxonomic information courtesy of Dave Behrens
David W. Behrens
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