Flabellina japonica

Photographed by Marc Chamberlain
Sechelt Inlet, British Coloumbia, Canada
Feb. 2011
Photo taken with housed Nikon D-300
Specimen found on Sutton's Reef in a field of white hydroids
Flabellina japonica (Volodchenko, 1937)

This lovely aeolid nudibranch has been referred to by several names in the North Pacific, having been referred to as Flabellina salmonacea (Cuthouy, 1838) and prior to that, Coryphella salmonacea. Coryphella salmonacea has never occurred in the Pacific and Volodchenko's earlier description takes precedence, over Cuthouy’s.

The species can be easily ID'ed from its densely packed cerata, which are absent along the centerline.

It is sometimes confused with Aeolidia papillosa, whose cerata occur anterior to the rhinophores and are lanceolate in shape; and several of the Cuthona's due to the ceratal color. This species has long tapering head tentacles, as seen in Marc's photo, and slightly varicose rhinophores.

Ceratal color varies from cream to yellow, orange and pink. There is a small white cnidosac at the tip of each ceras, containing nematocysts sequestered from its hydroid prey.

This species is circumboreal, occurring throughout British Columbia, Alaska, Japan, Siberia and Atlantic Canada to Massachusetts. Specimens reach 75mm (about 3 inches) in length.

Dave Behrens
Gig Harbour, Washington
May, 2011

Michelle,and Marc Chamberlain gearing up at Andy Lamb's Cedar Beach resort
in preparation for a dive in the southern Gulf Islands off SE Vancouver Island.
Photo courtesy of Neil McDaniel
Marc and Michelle Chamberlain reside in the Pacific Northwest Seattle area. They enjoy cold water diving and take advantage of their location to enjoy same whenever possible. They also travel abroad, often combining land and water opportunities as in the New Zealand, where they did extensive bird watching in addition to the jaunt to the Poor Knight's Islands (which I am going to put on my places to visit list).

Marc in his time in San Diego was club Photographer of the Year so many times that I lost count! In fact Marc came to mind last summer during a trip on the Catalina Express from Dana Point. Due to a loading snafu, the bag containing my camcorders was stowed down below and therefore unavailable during the hop over to Catalina. Well, you guessed a Blue breeched about 50 feet off the boat and hung around for about 10 minutes for everyone onboard to get a shot. That is with the exception of yours truly! During the remainder of the voyage the only thought that came to mind was "if Marc has been onboard he would have been ready." That be the difference folks between those who dream and those who actually do it!

Send Marc email at chambemc@u.washington.edu

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

Send Dave email at dave@seachallengers.com

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