Goniobranchus sp.

Image courtesy of Stewart Clarke
Viceroy Hotel Abu Dhabi Marina, UAE

Goniobranchus sp. - A matter of another maroon spotted Goniobranchid

Some years ago Bill Rudman did a piece on Red Spotted Chromodorids from southern Australia. This group included C. splendida, C. tasmaniensis, C. daphne and C. hunterae. Presently the genus name has been changed to Goniobranchus for each of these. So now there seems to be a "maroon" spotted group of Goniobranchus in the western Indian Ocean.

The first species of note is Goniobranchus cazae discovered and named after dear friend and diver/photographer, Carole Harris in the United Arab Emirates (now living in Australia). Caz was Carole's nickname. G. cazae is quite similar in coloration to Stewart's critter above. Body white with maroon spots, but G. cazae's has yellow spots inside of each. The mantle margin has an irregular maroon band with a series of variably sized yellow spots. The rhinophoral sheath has a maroon edge as well.

The second record showed up in "Reef Creature Identification - Tropical Pacific" by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach. On page 323 bottom right we find a critter photographed in the Triton Bay area, south of the West Papua province in Indonesia, by Mathieu Meur. Again while similar to both G. cazae and Stewart's beast, this critter does not have yellow spots within the maroon spots, has tan rhinophores and gill, and the mantle margin color pattern is a yellow marginal band with irregular maroon spots, just the opposite of G. cazae.

Stewart's specimens, like Mathieu's do not have yellow spots in the large maroon areas either. The marginal color pattern is more diffuse than both the other two and most importantly the gill and rhinophores are very different. Both are white with an opaque white edge on the rhinophoral sheath and a line up the edge of the gill that begins white at the base then turns to purple near the tips.

Well there we have it.

Nice find Stewart!

Dave Behrens
Sammamish, WA 98074
Mar., 2015
Send Dave email at davidwbehrens@gmail.com

Stewart and friend
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. Stewart has been living and working in the United Arab Emirates for 7 years after escaping from the grey skies of the UK. It has only been during the last 4 years that he has been systematically searching for Nudibranchs in the surrounding waters of Eastern Arabia, and to date has recorded 210 species for the area. He believes there are still many more to discover especially in the less dived reefs of Western Abu Dhabi and hopes to bring a number of them to the BOW in the future.

We also have a Facebook page whereby we try and post pictures of what we have seen.

I have also collated some of my photos in an album on my photography website

Stewart Clarke
Mar., 2015
Send Stewart email at stewartclarke@hotmail.com

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

Send Dave email at davidwbehrens@gmail.com
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