Thordisa rubescens , Behrens and Henderson 1981
This is a super rare find along the California coast. You can count the number of confirmed sightings on one hand. Interestingly it is not rare due to its size, as all of the observed specimens have been large, measuring up to 90 mm in length.
As the trivial names suggests, the body is bright red-orange. The notum is covered with numerous inflated, spiculose, papillae of various sizes and shapes. There is a scattering of gold flecks in a halo arounf the gill and around each rhinophore.
The radular morphology suggests it feed on sponges, but we have no information on this.
This photo was taken at the type locality, where we described the species originally, Palos Verdes, California.
I want to personally thank both Merry and Phil for making this BOW possible!
Sammamish, WA 98074
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WEBMASTER'S NOTES : Who says taxonomic lightning doesn't strike twice on the same animal? Merry was fortunate to find a second specimen this week in the same approximate area! This time she found T. rubescens with it's egg mass , certainly an very uncommon sighting if not a first! Seeing the animal under any circumstances is a feat on to itself! The nudi taxonomists are certainly going to be happy with this photo!
Merry Passage worked as a genetics research scientist at Harbor UCLA for three decades. After retiring she has used her degrees from Arizona State University and laboratory experience as an aid to scuba diving. She spends countless hours researching many of the animals we find underwater. Her home office is filled with binders and identification books from algae to whales. She knew instantly that the nudibranch she found was uncommon. After looking at the little information available she felt it was likely Thordisa rubescens.|
Thanks to Dave Behrens for his quick response confirming our suspicions.
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Send Phil email at Pacificcoast101@yahoo.com