Siphopteron ladrones also taken by Dave Behrens, Lembeh, June 2013
Siphopteron ladrones (Carlson & Hoff, 1974)|
I am not sure if this species is truly as rare as published, or whether it is just rarely seen because of its cryptic coloration and tiny size, under 5mm in length. I can't believe I even saw it on the muck bottom. I guess my aging eyes aren't as bad as I thought, but had I not noticed a coiled white egg mass, I likely would not have made an extra effort to find it.
Webmaster Mike recalled Clay and Patty Jo saying that the word "ladones" meant thief in Spanish and wondered why they named this species a "thief." So I asked Clay. His response was "The Spanish first called the Mariana Islands (where the species was first found) "Islas de Los Ladrones." So Mike was correct. Clay and Patty Jo named it after its type locality - the Islands of Thieves.
Although not a perfect match to the photo in Indo-Pacific Nudibranchs, both Clay and Terry Gosliner agree with me on the ID, as the body is divided into white patches by an orangish line and there is the characteristic white medial stripe on the tail. The siphon and flagellum on my critter are darker than normal.