Image courtesy of Andrew Podzorski
Elysia sp. (Undescribed)
Members of the genus Elysia are my least favorite to identify. This specimen is a good example of why. Nudibranch and Sea Slug Identification, Second Edition includes 48 species we were not able to identify. Go figure.
When I examine this species carefully, I see an elysid-shaped species, green with an orange mantle edge and black specks and small white papillae covering the mantle. The shape of the critter is compromised in the photo as I believe it is crawling on a piece of algae. Had it been laying flat I am sure it would look like a true Elysia.
Surfing through the species in NSSI 2nd Ed, the closest match I can come up with is Elysia sp. 19 (page 421). The photo and text match Andrew's critter pretty well, except our text on this species states that it does not have a marginal band. Not sure why as the photographed specimen clearly has that feature.
But then one might argue that this is Elysia tomentosa Jensen, 1997, which also has a light mantle margin and numerous papillae on the mantle surface. Oh, but heck, you might even argue that it is similar to Elysia sp. 17., sp. 18 or even sp. 29.
In any event, it is a pretty cool looking creature, whether we can ID it or not. I'll leave the final ID up to you, the reader. Good luck.
With the travel restrictions imposed by Covid, and finding out how little money is donated to charities supporting reef conservation, I decided to use my knowledge and photos to create a website to encourage people to donate to Greenpeace, Sea Shepard, Conservation International etc. Reef Image-Stories - Help save our reefs!
Camera: Nikon D750 with a Nikon 105mm macro objective in a Seacam housing with Seacam Seaflash 100D strobes.
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