Janolus toyamaensisBaba and Abe, 1970 (=Janolus indicus (Eliot, 1909))|
Well it looks like we have another source for the amazing sea slugs of the United Arab Emirates. This is great as I have been bummed since Carole Harris left that region.
Our "Branch of the Week" this week is one I am not familiar with, and if we have ID'ed it correctly, is way out of its known geographic range. The real problem is the ID. Let's see - where to start? We have two described species matching Stewart's critter. Eliot described Antiopella indicus in 1909 from the Indian Ocean. Unfortunately the specimens in this small collection reported on by Eliot were not accompanied by any information on the living animals so their true color is unknown. Bill Rudman considers that without a color description, there is no way we can identify Eliot's species as it is possible that a number of species of Janolus can be found in the region.
So that leaves us with a more recently described species - Janolus toyamaensis, (page 317 in Indo-Pacific Nudibranchs) which although it was described from Japan, matches Stewart's animal perfectly. The yellow and brown markings and the white lines on the body and cerata are like no other species.
So, if we compile all the geographic information we have on this spectacular animal its geographic range extends from Japan, to Midway Atoll and Hawaii to India and now the United Arab Emirates. This species reaches about 25mm in length and feeds on arborescent bryozoans.
Baba, K. & Abe, T. (1970). Two new species of Janolidae from Toyama Bay, Japan (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia). The Veliger, 13(1): 63-66.
Eliot, C. N. E. 1909. Report on the nudibranchs collected by Mr. James Hornell at Okhamandal in Kattiawar in 1905-6. In: J. Hornell: Report to the government of Baroda on the marine zoology of Okhamandal Part 1: 137-145.
Myself and a friend are hoping to carry on the tradition that Carole Harris started up of finding and recording Nudibranchs in the UAE and Oman.
I've been living and diving in the UAE for 5 years but only really started looking for Nudibranch properly within the last 18 months. We have another small wreck called Inchcape 2 which so far has yielded 40 separate species and we hope to find many more. I've been diving since 2000 when I went on holiday to Egypt and did my OW course. Started UW photography at the same time using a cheap disposable camera. I was then only really a vacation diver for the next 8 years but I bought a casing for my Olympus C5050 and carried on taking shots when I had chance. In 2008 I moved to the UAE and started diving more regularly and getting more into Underwater photography. I eventually upgraded to a better camera with strobes and started concentrating on Macro photography which culminated in me going to Lembeh in 2011. After that I was well and truly hooked and picked up an obsession for Nudibranchs along the way.
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WEBMASTER'S NOTES : I don't know about you folks, but I am certainly looking forward to future submissions from Stewart!