This is not a really common species along the California coast, but in recent weeks it seems that the genus Acanthodoris has had a family reunion in the San Diego area where Steve captured this photo. See the Sea Slug Forum for three of the other species of this genus observed by Kevin Lee, in the same location as this.
For four species of a single genus to be in abundance at the same time is an indication that food resources must be optimal.
Acanthodorids are bryozoan feeders. All members o the genus have very long rhinophores by comparison to most dorid nudibranchs, and tall conical notal papillae. Species of Acanthodoris differ externally in notal coloration.
While we cannot see this species food in Steveís photo, we can clearly see itís egg ribbon being laid.
Great shot Steve!
Steve has had his own page on the Slug Site since 1999! If you have a few moments, hit the link and go diving the shores with Steve! It will be well worth your time!
Steve is well known in San Diego diving circles for his dedication to preserving our underwater fauna and promoting safe diving. On any given Saturday or Sunday morning at the shores, just ask for bumble bee and everyone will point the way! Steve dives in a dry suit now but the name recognition is still there!
Our hats are off to you Steve!
Send Steve email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ali Hermosillo and Dave Behrens
Pacific Coast Nudibranchs and Nudibranch Behavior
Send Dave mail at email@example.com