This yellow Notaspidean sometimes gets confused by new comers as a "limpet", a prosobranch gastropod. It is easily distinguished from limpets who have a much smaller white foot and whose shell is usually clamped tight to the substrate.
Like other notaspideans it has retained a shell, which is cap-shaped and unlike other genera in this group is external and quite visible. The shell in Berthella for example, is internal and not discernible. Tylodina's shell is covered with a bristled mantle and the rhinophores are rolled. Specimens have varying degrees of brown coloration on the mantle.
A second closely related species assigned to the same family as Tylodina is Anidolyta spongotherus. This species was described by fellow Brancher Hans Bertsch in 1980. Exercising his usual sense of creativity and humor when describing this new genus and species Hans created the name Anidolyta by spelling Tylodina backwards, adding an "a" to give the new name gender. This species is not as colorful as T. fungina, and is found in deep water off Vancouver, British Columbia
Tylodina fungina occurs from Cayucos, California and all through southern California to the Galapagos Islands, where it is most often found on its prey, the yellow sulfur sponge, Aplysina fistularis. Specimens can reach about 30 mm in length.
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David W. Behrens
Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
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