Okenia kendi

Photo courtesy of Webmaster
Batangas, Philippines
May, 2001

Okenia kendi Gosliner, 2004

This is going to be the year for the genus Okenia. Following Terry’s paper describing this beauty, I am aware of three more papers describing another 10-12 new species are forthcoming. Terry adds 6 new species to the Indo-Pacific fauna in the paper referenced below. Okenia kendi, named after the Filipino word for candy, really does look like a tasty treat.

Known only from Luzon, Philippines and Sulawesi, Indonesia, this species is very typically Okenia shaped, and grows to almost 30mm in length. The body is dorso-ventrally flattened, with a series of eight pairs of marginal papillae and a single medial papillae in front of the gill. These papillae are yellow at the base followed with a band of maroon, the remaining distal half being purple. There are distinctive board maroon bands down the length of the body from the maroon rhinophores to the maroon tipped gills.

Okenia kendi is reported to found on the underside of the large brown leafy sponge, Phyllospongia lamellosa, where it feeds on encrusting bryozoans .See also Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific , where it is listed as Okenia sp. 2. This species is somewhat similar to Okenia plebeia and Okenia bernardi , both which lack the maroon/purple color on their medial and marginal papillae.

It is in this paper that Terry defends the taxonomic placement of the once Hopkinsia rosacea into the genus Okenia. Readers interested in a low resolution PDF copy of this paper can request one from myself at – dbehrens@schaferlabs.com.


Gosliner, Terrance M. 2004. Phylogenetic systematics of Okenia, Sakishimaia, Hopkinsiella and Hopkinsia (Nudibranchia: Goniodorididae) with descriptions of new species from the tropical Indo-pacific. Proc. California Academy of Sciences 55(5): 125-161.

Dave Behrens
Danville, Calif
Sept. 2004

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 dave@seachallengers.com

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