Trapania squama

Image courtesy of Robin Agarwal
Dive site: Mainit Bubbles
Anilao, Batangas, Philippines
Trapania squama Gosliner & Fahey, 2008

This is one very cool looking phanerobranch dorid. The trivial name "squama" is taken from the Latin word meaning 'scale' to describe the distinct scale-like color pattern of the notum.

The genus was reviewed by Terry Gosliner & Shireen Fahey in 2008, who added 16 new species to this interesting genus.

As mentioned, a couple of weeks ago, in our Trapania sp. 17 BOW, these species feed on entoprocts which live on sponges.

The body is cream, and the scale pattern is created by a series of black lines. There are scattered brown and white markings over the gill, oral tentacles, rhinophores, extrarhinophoral and extrabranchial appendages and at the posterior end of the foot.

Robin's observation here adds the Philippines to the known geographic range of the species of Papua New Guinea and the Marshall Islands.

T. squama was previously seen in the Anilao area in May 2018 by Scott & Jeanette Johnson.

Robin would like to credit dive guide Romnick Baillo at the Buceo Anilao Dive Resort for this amazing discovery!


Gosliner, T. M.; Fahey, S. J. (2008). Systematics of Trapania (Mollusca: Nudibranchia: Goniodorididae ) with descriptions of 16 new species. Systematics and Biodiversity. 6(1): 53-98.

Dave Behrens
New Braunfels, TX
Sep., 2023
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Dave and Peg in Texas motif prior to move from
Washington to Texas

Image courtesy of Robin Agarwal

I'm a community scientist with a passion for nudibranchs. I've been photographing nudibranchs for many years, primarily in California tidepools and while on dive trips elsewhere. I post my observations to (I'm ANudibranchMom), where I'm co-editor of the California Sea Slugs Guide. I have contributed photos to Behrens et al, "Nudibranchs and Sea Slugs of the Eastern Pacific," 2022, and various NOAA and Smithsonian projects. Im honored to have contributed data to a few scientific papers as well as my own articles in Bay Nature magazine and elsewhere. I volunteer in the Invertebrate Zoology department at the California Academy of Sciences, working with nudibranch photos from around the world.


Robin Agarwal

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From left to right, Terry Gosliner, Angel Valdes, Dave Behrens La Jolla, Calif.

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