Aegires sp. 4

Image courtesy of Eli Amador
Camera Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 60 mm micro and Inon 165M67 wet lens. Anthis-Nexus housing
Anilao, Batangas, Philippines

Aegires sp. 4 (undescribed)

A review of the genus by Shireen Fahey and Terry Gosliner in 2004, has added substantially to the size this previously tiny group. Drawing the dander of some, this review moved several species previously assign to Notodoris Bergh, 1875, into Aegires. These would be Aegires citrinus (Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum), A. minor, A. gardneri and A. serenae. The paper also described five new species, leaving four still nameless.

Most of the stir among amateurs was caused because the previous Notodorids look nothing like the classical Aegires, in body form and color. They are however, very closely related when phylogenetic evidence and internal anatomy are considered.

Aegires sp. 4 is similar to A. villosus. Both are highly variable in color. Their body color ranges from white to yellow. A. villosus has long thin tubercles tipped in purple. Variations can have a variety of purple and orange spots and lines. Aegires sp. 4 has rounded tubercles, tipped in black. The same black spots can be found on the gill branches and rhinophoral sheaths.

Eli's specimen here differs only slightly from the photo in Indo-Pacific Nudibranchs, page 144, having an orange body rather than yellow. The pink pigmentation is also much more extensive on this specimen, than Terry's in IPN.

It is still known only from the Philippines, and may reach 15 mm in length. So keep your eyes open.

Citation :

Fahey, S. J. & Gosliner, T. M. (2004) A Phylogenetic Analysis of the Aegiridae Fischer, 1883 (Mollusca, Nudibranchia, Phanerobranchia) with Descriptions of Eight New Species and a Reassessment of Phanerobranch Relationships. Proceedings of the CaliforniaAcademy of Sciences, 55, (34): 613-689, 82 figs., 4 tables (Appendix).

Dave Behrens
Sammamish, WA 98074
Jan., 2014
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Eli Amador In Thailand

I started free diving when I was 10, then when I was 14, right after WW2, some friendly commercial divers taught me hard hat with of their Navy Mark IV helmets.

In the Bahamas when the equipment became available, I took Scuba lessons, continued them in Los Angeles. On the Don Jose dive boat in the Sea of Cortes I did several dozen trips, all most enjoyable, with the exception of one episode of the bends.

My continuing certification was with Capt Jim Black, with his group The Ugly Americans. Since 1992 my diving has been in S.E. Asia, including Komodo, Lembeh and of course Anilao. This tiny nudi is from Anilao, just a day before Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) hit the Philippines. I did not think I could photo it, even with an Inon 165 add-on lens, as it was deep in the coral, but I got lucky.

Eli Amador
Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif
Jan 2014

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

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