Eubranchopsis virginalis

Photo courtesy of Martin Buschenreithner
Lembeh Straits, Indonesia

Eubranchopsis virginalis (Baba, 1949)

Here's an exciting species that I was unable to find out anything about off the web, except for several great photos on Jun Imamoto & Nishina Masayoshi's web site - identified as Eubranchus sp. 1. There is also a similary colored species on Bill Rudman's forum, yet different in several aspects.

Neville Coleman does have two photos labeled as the Starry Eubranchus on page 107 of his 1001 Nudibranchs, but it is hard to determine if those are the same as Martin's species here.

I believe this is Eubranchopsis virginalis . My identification is based upon Marine Mollusks of Japan (Takashi Okutani, 2000). The ceratal cores are often salmon pink at the base but this depends upon the hydroid species that individuals are feeding on. We do not know if the Japanese specimens feed on the same species of hydroid as those in Indonesia. This part of the liver diverticulum then becomes a thin tube leading to the cnidoblast containing both maturing and active nematocysts at the tip. These nematocysts, which were swallowed by the nudibranch and passed undigested to the cnidoblast, are used as a defense weapon by the aeolid to fend off any inquisitive predator wanting a quick taste. The cerata also have a couple of rings of pointed projections, each tipped with a white spot with a black center, making this species fairly easy to identify. Gosh I hope I'm right.

This is certainly a species to keep your eyes open for.

Dave Behrens
Danville, Calif
Jul. 2003

Martin Buschenreithner lives in Mautem, Austria and has been diving since 1988 with a trip to the Red Sea. Martin and his wife were first fascinated with all the colorful fishes but gradually shifted their interests to the rare and unusal animals such as Frogfishes, Ghostpipe Fish, Seahoreses, Shrimps, Crabs, and Nudies of course. Martin considers the best area for such animals to be the Lembeh Strait in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Martin has taken over 20,000 photographs in 10 years with MM MMX10 and MM II EX. Since October of 2001 he has almost exclusively been shooting digital first with the Olympus C-4040 Z and more recently with the Olympus C-5050Z.

Send Martin email at

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

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