Ceratosoma sp.

Taken in Lembeth Straits, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Photo courtesy of Johanna Gawron

Ceratosoma sp. (Possibly undescribed)

Many years ago in the Philippines, Vic Smith (California Academy of Sciences) came across a very unusual Ceratosoma which defied identification at the time and evidently is still undescribed. I never saw the animal but evidently it has resurfaced in the Lembeh Straits, Indonesia. Well, is this so surprising give the marine biodiversity that has been found in that area? Bill Rudman (Sea Slug Forum) speculates that the exterior texture of the Ceratosoma resembles that of a sponge to better blend in with the suspected prey substrate (sponges). This theory probably explains why so many of us have perhaps missed the photo opportunity while it was feeding. Off the sponge, its findable!

I want to thank Johanna Gawron of Germany who has a sharp eye for these small guys and was kind enough to send the picture in.

Mike Miller
San Diego, Calif
March 2008

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