Aegires ninguis

Photo courtesy of Terry Gosliner

Aegires ninguis Fahey and Gosliner, 2004

Distribution: Reported from temperate Atlantic and Indian Oceans of South Africa.

This new species can be identified by the white to pale yellow background color and minute white speckles on the dorsum between the tubercles. The tubercles are short and rounded. There are no tubercles on the posterior end of the foot. On the anterior of the head region, there are two prominent tubercles with smaller tubercles between them. Between the rhinophores there are also two prominent tubercles. Numerous spicules protrude from the dorsal tubercles such that they appear fuzzy. The rhinophore sheath is slightly elevated and has five papillae on all sides except the innermost. The gill is protected on the anterior side by extra-branchial papillae that are tri-lobed. The rhinophores are pale yellow on white specimens and deeper yellow on the yellow specimens. The gill branches match the background color in all specimens examined. The specimens found in South Africa range from 68 mm in length.

Photo courtesy of Shireen Fahey

Externally, the white form of A. ninguis most closely resembles the white form of A. albopunctatus MacFarland, 1966. But the tubercle arrangement is different between these two species. Aegires ninguis has randomly scattered tubercles that vary in size on the notum. There are two prominent tubercles on both the anterior and posterior ends of the notum, and no tubercles on the posterior end of the foot. In A. albopunctatus the tubercles are arranged in two distinct rows like ridges, joined from between the rhinophores and extending to the gill. Behind the gill, the tubercles are arranged in three distinct rows. The tubercles on the rhinophore pocket of each species are different as well. In A. ninguis there are four tubercles on the outside of the rhinophore pocket and in A. albopunctatus there are five.

SEM of A. ninguis radula seen at left.

Citation :

Fahey, S. J. & Gosliner, T. M. (2004) A Phylogenetic Analysis of the Aegiridae Fischer, 1883 (Mollusca, Nudibranchia, Phanerobranchia) with Descriptions of Eight New Species and a Reassessment of Phanerobranch Relationships. Proceedings of the CaliforniaAcademy of Sciences, 55, (34): 613689, 82 figs., 4 tables (Appendix).

Shireen Fahey
San Francisco, Calif
Jan. 2006



Photo courtesy of Dave Behrens
Taxonomic text courtesy of Shireen Fahey

Dr. Shireen Fahey and Dr. Terry Gosliner at California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California.


Send Shireen email at sfahey@calacademy.org


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