Flabellina sp.

Photo Courtesy of Carole Harris and Leon Betts
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Flabellina sp. (Undescribed)

From the scorching sands of the rather volatile Middle East, UN Inspectors have uncovered a new weapon. No, I am only kidding. Dear friends Carole Harris and Leon Betts have sent another amazing unidentifiable nudibranch. This time Carole's critter is an aeolid. Do any of you recognize this beauty? I sure don't. I am calling it a Flabellina here, but that's without the opportunity to admire it up close, and I can't convince Carole to complete her degree in Nudibranchology.

Based on Carole's great in-situ photographs it looks like this week's BOW has long cephala tentacles and the rhinophores are either smooth or slightly verrucose. The entire body is transparent showing the internal organs. There is clearly a cnidoblast at the tip of each ceras. The cerata are unique in coloration, the thin branch of the liver diverticulum beginning as a short yellow segment which abruptly turns black for most of its length and then thickens and becomes blue below the white cnidoblast. This seems to be the only pigmentation on the body. Carole and Leon showed me this critter years ago indicating that at certain times of the year it was common. Recently it showed up in numbers again. I am going to guess that this species feeds on the campanularid hydroid seen in this shot , taken on the same dive. Both were in the waters off Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

We'd love to hear from any of you who may have an idea what the name of this species is.

Dave Behrens
Danville, Calif
Mar. 2003

WEBMASTER'S NOTES: This unknown now has a name! Thanks to Erwin Kohler we are updating the name to Sakuraeolis kirembosa!

Michael Miller
San Diego, Calif
Dec. 2010

Carole and Leon live in the United Arab Emirates and have been diving for over 13 years. One of Carole's favourite photography subject is nudibranchs, because as she says, she is almost guaranteed to get a fairly decent shot! Living in the UAE has proved to be a most diverse and unexpected smorgasboard of offerings from a wide range of unusual nudis to robust ghostpipefish, pipehorse, pygmy sea moths, hammerheads, and recently a pygmy sperm whale.

Carole has recently authored "UAE - Underwater Explorer". This great dive guide includes details of the most dived locations, colour photographs and dive-site maps.

Visit www.the-explore.com to see details . She is also a very active member in the Emirates Environmental Group, promoting underwater awareness to its members and the public alike and has struck up a friendship with a reporter who shares the same environmental eagerness and helps to highlight these matters in the local newspapers.

Send Carol and Leon email at caroleeharris@hotmail.com

Taxonomic information courtesy of:

David W. Behrens

Author: Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
Co-Author Coral Reef Animals of the Indo Pacific
Proprietor of Sea Challengers Natural History Books !

Send Dave mail at info@seachallengers.com

© The Slug Site, Michael D. Miller 2003. All Rights Reserved.