TITLE>Nudibranch of the Week is Glossodoris symmetricus
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Glossodoris symmetricus Rudman,1990
The above three photos taken in the Marshalls show what appear to be different stages in the growth of Glossodoris symmetricus Rudman,1990. The smallest of the three, symm-sma.jpg, measured about 15mm in length and had the lightest coloration and least undulose mantle margin. Symm-med.jpg was the medium sized individual, measuring about 25mm while crawling. This one's base mantle color had a tinge of yellow and its rhinophores and gills were darker orange than its smaller conspecific. Also, the medium one's mantle margin was distinctly more undulose than that of the smaller one. The third animal, symm-lar.jpg, measured 29mm in length at rest, although it probably could have stretched out a bit more than that. Its mantle was even more yellowish than the middle one, and its gills and rhinophores were even darker orange. The large specimen's most distinctive feature, however, was its highly undulose and folded mantle margin.
These are the only three specimens I've seen here in the Marshall Islands. Two of these (the largest and smallest) were included in Rudman's original description, which also included a specimen from Papua New Guinea and another from Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. The three from the Marshalls were all found at depths of 5 to 15 meters, on the sponge encrusted undersurfaces of dead coral rocks; the largest and smallest came from Enewetak Atoll, and the middle one was found at Kwajalein Atoll.
Photos and Text courtesy of:
Kwajalein, Marshall Islands
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Camera System: Nikonos II with 1:2 extension tube
Strobe: Oceanpro 2003 strobe