Help me Rhonda - would you look at this psychedelic beast? Man-o-live just when you think you've seen it all another mind blower species is discovered. Although its internal anatomy hasn't been studied yet, I think I would place this beauty in the genus Trapania because of the typical Goniodorid non-retractile gills and the two pairs of lateral processes, one set in front of the rhinophores and the other set to side of the gills.
Twenty species of Trapania are shown on the Sea Slug Forum , five of which are currently undescribed. Mike's specimen doesn't come close to any of these. Of these twenty species from around the world, most (14) are white with some small marking or spots of white, yellow, orange or brown. Only 6 have any degree of dark body pigmentation seen in Mike's species, here.
Only about 10 mm in length, Mike found this specimen on a non-distinct red encrusting sponge . This is likely not its food however, as Goniodorids are usually found feeding on bryozoans or ascidians. Note that this species is black in body color with a red branching pattern, and white patches over its entire surface. There are smaller blue spots distributed within the black region. The lateral processes are white with a diffuse black area posterior-laterally.
A shallow water occurrence, Mike shot this Trapania in 25 feet of water, it is known only from this photo taken in Tulamben, near Bali, Indonesia.
Joseph and the Webmaster are pictured at Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia last October.
David W. Behrens
Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
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