Noumea catalaiRudman, 1990
Just when you thought that I had seen every species of Chromodorid in the world, another new one pops up. This week we feature what appears to be a Bill Rudman species of Noumea from Noumea, New Caledonia.
What a beauty. Aside from a somewhat similar looking critter on page 84 of Neville Coleman’s 1001 Nudibranchs , photographed in Lesser Sundra Island, Indonesia, I was completely unaware of this magnificent animal. Special thanks to Jean-François Hervé for bringing this species to our attention.
There is no miss identifying this species with its pure, snow-white notum, with the blood red dashes. With yellow rhinophores and pink gill, it certainly meets the criteria of an aposomatic species, suggesting to predators that it is toxic if tasted. I wonder if the two tears in the mantle came from such a curious taster.
Aside from Jean’s photo above, all we now about this species is that it is small, only about 12mm in length, and lives on a yellow sponge, in depths of about 25 feet.
Incidentally, if you are interested in other species from New Caledonia, please visit Jean-François's web site devoted to New Caledonian nudibranchs .
Rudman, W.B. 1995. The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of
the Indo-West Pacific: further species from New Caledonia and the Noumea
romeri colour group. Molluscan Research, 16: 1-43 [illustrations on CD-ROM].
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David W. Behrens
Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
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