Chromodoris cazae Gosliner and Behrens, 2004
A couple of years back, good buddy Carole Harris sent Terry Gosliner and I a couple photos of some wild species she had photographed from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) she could not identify. One was featured in Hypselodoris dollfusi , (Pruvot-Fol, 1933). Others include BOW's 267 ,269 ,271 , and 273 . One of her other new species had to wait until now to post as we were waiting for Carole and partner Leon to collect a couple of specimens for us. We are finally able to share it with you with its new name.
Chromodoris cazae is named in recognition of Carole for discovering this wild looking Chromodorid. The name cazae refers to Carole's childhood nickname (Caz), and has a certain Arabic ring to it.
The living animals are 40-70 mm in length. The body surface is smooth but with low pigmented elevations. The background color of the body is translucent white. There are several irregular patches of deep red-maroon found scattered of the mid-dorsal region. Each of these patches has a number of smaller irregular orange spots within it. The number of orange spots varies greatly from zero to sixteen or more. Some specimens have orange spots outside of the maroon patches, within the white regions. Each colored patch and spot is slightly elevated or raised from the otherwise smooth notal surface. The margin of the mantle has an irregular series of similar patches. Some specimens have a thin blue line along the edge of the mantle. In some specimens the rhinophoral sheaths have a small maroon patch on the posterior side. The gills and rhinophores are uniformly white, with opaque white specks and lines.
I'm sure it is a sponge eater, but we don't know anything about which UAE species it may feed on. Originally the species was only known from a single dive site near Khawr Fakkan, United Arab Emirates, but a note to the Sea Slug Forum , titled Chromodoris sp. 15, reports the species from Doha, Qatar, Arabian Gulf, as well.
Carole - thanks for bringing this great new species to our attention. It's almost as pretty as you.
Gosliner, Terrence M. & David W. Behrens. 2004. Two of New Species of Dorid Nudibranchs (Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia) from the Indian Ocean. Proc. Calif. Academy of Sci. 55(1): 1-10.
Carole and Leon Harris live in the United Arab Emirates and have been diving for almost 20 years. One of Carole's favourite photography subject is nudibranchs, because as she says, she is almost guaranteed to get a fairly decent shot since they can't run away.
Living in the UAE has proved to be a most diverse and unexpected smorgasboard of offerings from a wide range of unusual nudis to pipehorses, pygmy sea moths, robust ghostpipefish, hammerheads and whalesharks.
Carole is co-author of a UAE dive guide book which details the top 58 top most dived locations, colour photographs and dive-site maps.
She is also a very active member in the Emirates Environmental Group, promoting underwater awareness to its members and the public and has persuaded some restaurants to refrain from serving shark fin soup.
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David W. Behrens
Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
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