It seems like every new species hitting the scientific literature these days has a story behind it. Hypselodoris purpureomaculosa is no different.
The community of taxonomists working on new species of opishtobranchs is larger than one might think. Although many researchers are in constant communications and know which each other is working on, many due to language barriers, hectic schedules and remoteness, seem to work as independent entities.
Terry Gosliner's "Dream Team" of Branchers, collected H. purpureomaculosa in the late 1990's in the Batangas Province of the Philippines. Terry and then grad student Rebecca Johnson had included a description of the species in their Hypselodorid monograph, published in 1999, which contains 12 new species. They had put many hours into careful dissections, morphological comparisons, cladistic analysis and arguments supporting the naming of these species. Little did they know, another, fellow taxonomist, Dr. Iwao Hamatani, of Japan, had been working on the same species, and in fact had submitted a manuscript with its description to the molluscan journal, The Venus.
A little disappointed, but glad to avoid an embarrassment later, Terry and Rebecca dropped the description from their monograph. Saved in the nick of time, but a bummer.
Hypselodoris purpureomaculosa is easy to ID, having a wide orange marginal band and large burgundy-purple spots or bands on the dorsum.
The species reaches 35 mm in length and lives in the western Pacific from Indonesia and the Philippines, to the Solomon Islands and Japan.
A short video of H. purpureomaculosa by John Greenamyer is also available for the enjoyment of our readers!
Jim Black on location in Thailand with friend
Jim is retired from US Airways after 27 years as a pilot..., flying Captain on an Airbus 330 Internationally.
Diving since 1970...with over 5200 dives logged. Shoots Nikon D-300 in Subal Housing with Ikelite strobes. Macro Mate on 105mm for supermacro.
Jim's photography has been featured in a number of books and publications including Helmut Debelius' Nudibranchs and Sea Snails of Gosliner, Behrens and Williams Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific. A photo of Jim petting a shark in "Sleeping Shark Caves" off Isla Mujeres Island, Mexico, taken by Amy Foster his significant other, recently appeared in Dave Behrens' Diving Guide to Cozumel, Cancun & The Riviera Maja.
Jim has been a solid supporter of the Slug Site since day one. His countless contributions put him near the top of the list of photographers who have greatly expanded our knowledge of sea slugs. There are a lot of kids in the formative stage of their education who are getting their first introduction to our sea slug friends via the great photographs Jim and other contributors have made to the site. My hat is off to Jim for making this presentation possible!
As an added note, Jim was one of the keynote speakers at the Pittsburgh Scubapalooza, held Saturday, 5/14 at the Pittsburgh Scuba Center, 818 Ann St., Homestead, Pa.
Send Jim email at email@example.com
WEBMASTER'S NOTES : Another great submission by Jim Black who continues to astound us with his uncanny ability to find and photograph slug images most of us probably aren't going to see in this lifetime!