In recent months we have learned about a number of new species common to the waters of southern Japan, but not observed previously, or elsewhere. The flood of new species seems directly proportional to the dramatic increase in the number of Japanese sea slug enthusiasts. This is apparent, as Webmaster Miller has described in a previous BOW , the emergence of dive operations like that of Atsushi Ono's which can upon request cater exclusively to divers seeking to see nudibranchs.
Among the many new species emerging from the tropical waters of Japan are several sacoglossids. This Cyerce may be a new species, but our current understanding of this genus makes it difficult to be sure. Rie's specimen here looks almost identical to Cyerce sp. 1 (page 39) in Ono's Opishtobranchs of the Kerama Islands as well as Cyerce sp. 3 on Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum. The specimens seem to differ slightly in the opacity of the cerata, but otherwise all have the same coloration with small black specks and a pink region near the tip of the cerata.
Like other sacoglossids this species has rolled rhinophores and is herbivorous, feeding on algae. The genus Cyerce does not seem to be one of the solar powered groups, who incorporate zoozanthellae into their tissue for the purpose of up taking the byproducts of photosynthesis.
Thanks Rie for sharing this one. It's a beauty.
Rie Nikano at Kerama Islands, Okinawa, May 2002
Since 1989, Rie has been a free lance writer and editor for Japanese diving magazines. Her main focus is interviews resulting in feature articles on nudibranchs for the Japanese diving magazine "Monthly Diver".
Rie was already interested in nudibrachs in 1987 when she first began diving. In 1996, She started the Japanese divers' site as webmaster. About this time Atsushi Ono from Okinawa also joined the site. Atsushi and Rie have been remained in close contact since first meeting in 1989.
To quote Rie:
"...Atsushi showed me how to photograph the many beautiful nudibranchs of the Kermama Islands. After many interesting discussions with Atsushi regarding Kerama's sea slugs, I became even more interested in nudibranchs! So, Atsushi is the real teacher of nudibranchs for me! In 1999, Atsushi recommended me to be the editor for his book " Opisthobranchs of Kerama Islands " . Thanks to Dr.Rudman, Dr.Bolland, and Mike Miller's site, I strived to do the best job for Asthushi and many readers..."
Rie has her own nudibranch web site (Japanese only).
Rie can be contacted at email@example.com
David W. Behrens
Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
Send Dave mail at firstname.lastname@example.org