Flabellina marcusorum

Photo's courtesy of Ali Hermosillo
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Aug.. 2002

Flabellina marcusorum Gosliner & Kuzirian, 1990

This lovely little aeolid nudibranch was named after the very productive opisthobranchologist team of Ernst and Eveline du Bois Raymond Marcus. It is easily recognized by its pink cerata with white tips and the violet to purple papillations on the posterior side of the rhinophores, the anterior surface being smooth.

The species was originally described by friends Terry Gosliner and Alan Kuzirian from Baja California, Mexico, north of where Ali is conducting her studies on opisthobranchs for her doctorial degree. In their description they mentioned a specimen from Brazil and more recently, Phanor Montoya has collected specimens on the Caribbean side of Columbia. Terry points out in a reply to the Forum that while it is surprising that these two highly disjunct populations have been separated for 3.5 million years, certainly adequate time to diverge into separate distinctive species, they have not, and are still identical anatomically.

Ali's specimens shown here are from the southernmost population along the Pacific coast. Specimens have been collected as far north as Cedros Island off the outer coast of Baja. This cutie reaches about 25 mm in length.

Dave Behrens
Danville , Calif
Sept. 2002

Sandra Millen, Ali Hermosillo, and Pedro Medina Rosas
Puerto Vallarta, April 2002

Pedro Medina Rosas is currently a full time researcher for Universidad de Guadalajara in Puerto Vallarta. He worked in corals for both his undergraduated degree in Biology and his Master's degree in Oceanography and has been studying the corals of the mexican Pacific (from the Gulf of California to Oaxaca and the offshore islands of Revillagigedo) for 9 years. He is member of the Mexican Scientific and Technical Council of Coral Reefs.

He is working closely with me in the Bahia de Banderas Opisthobranch Project and has a keen eye for branchs. Since I either survey or take pictures, I have encouraged Pedro to use the camera and photograph just about anything we find, with the 128K memory card we can store up to 90-100 pictures in high resolution.

The pictures for this week's BOW were taken on a point and shoot mode of the Nikon Coolpix 995 with an Aquatica Housing and an 10 watt HID cave light. We are still working on improving the system with more easy to use lights, but we think so far the results allow us to illustrate the species in their habitat and to continue our research.

Ali Hermosillo
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Ali can be contacted at gueri25@hotmail.com

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

Send Dave mail at seachalleng@earthlink.net

© The Slug Site, Michael D. Miller 2002. All Rights Reserved.