Chromodoris conchyliata

Photo courtesy of Francis and Pirjo Pellet
Seraya Secrets, Bali, Indonesia
Nikon D 200 with Nikkor 60 mm macro lens in Subal housing and Inon strobes
April, 2010

Chromodoris conchyliata Yonow, 1984

Chromodoris conchyliata belongs to a group of species in which the anterior end of the body is rhythmically raised and lowered as the animal crawls. Included in this group is Chromodoris geometrica Risbec, 1928 and C. hintuanensis Gosliner and Behrens, 1998 (Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum). The three species are quite similar in external coloration and have been mixed up in some of the recent literature. While the most dramatic differences are in the internal anatomy, the three can be separated externally as, C. hintuanensis has a network of pale plum areas while in C. geometrica the network is dark brown to black, and in C. conchyliata it is deep purple. C. geometrica has yellowish-green rhinophores and gills, with opague white spots, while in C. conchyliata the gills have red lines along the rachis, but the rhinophores are uniformly red. This species feeds on the purple encrusting sponge, Chelonaplysilla violacea

This sighting expands the geographic range of the species tremendously. Previously it was known only from the Indian Ocean: Kenya, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

For a short video of "mandle flapping" characteristic of this group, please enjoy this short video in flash format of this behavior!

Dave Behrens
Gig Harbor, Washington
Nov. 2010

Francis and Pirjo Pellet on location Lembeh Straits

I can't say enough about the Pellets and their slug hunting and photography skills although they probably don't need an introduction to readers of this site! What you see in this BOW is only a small sampling of what they brought back from a ten day stay at Villa Markisa, Bali, Indonesia. A good many of their finds are in the 5mm and below category which in my estimation is the ultimate challenge in sea slug hunting! Of course photographing something this small is by no means a "slam dunk" as in basketball parlance! The are focus and depth of field considerations which can drive the underwater photographer to exasperation. The Pellets , it goes without saying, excel in super macro photography of sea slugs!

Stay tuned in the weeks to come for further BOW's based on their finds!

Michael Miller
San Diego, Calif
Nov. 2010

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

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