Ceratosoma miamirana(Bergh, 1875)
Well this creature that "only a mother could love", is what Neville Coleman calls the red-speckled Orodoris, however Valdes & Gosliner (1999) in there analysis of the genus Ceratosoma placed all species originally belonging to Orodoris and Miamira, into Ceratosoma. I must admit I don’t know much about this species. Although a member of the family Chromodorididae, it certainly doesn’t share any of the gorgeous colors of the family and is one of the few cryptic species. Butt ugly cryptic in fact.
In any event, the shape of this species body is similar to the green variation of Ceratosoma sinuata(Bill Rudman's SeaSlug Forum). The one without the very distinctive steep dorso-medial ridge. I belong to the camp that strongly feels that the smooth mantled, greenish, C. sinuata and the flamboyantly colored red – ridged variation are separate and distinct species that latter should keep the name, Ceratosoma magnifica. I hope someday the "Miamira-group" as Bill Rudman refers to it will get sorted out and these two distinctive species separated.
In any event, in C. miamirana, the edge of the mantle has strong angular points, and some specimens have star-shaped tubercles on the notal surface. You can see suggestions of these in the photo shown here. Both C. sinuata and C. miamirana have a series of blue or pink spots on the notum.
The underside of this species gives its identity away. In most specimens, the underside of the mantle has a very characteristic pattern of bluish or greenish white, with a reticulate pattern of green. In the crease where the body and the mantle meet, there is a series of bright blue spots, each ringed with red.
Valdes, A. & Gosliner, T. 1999. Reassessment of the systematic status of Miamira Bergh, 1875 and Orodoris Bergh, 1875 Nudibranchia; Chromodorididae) in light of phylogenetic analysis. Journal of Molluscan Studies,65: 33-45.
David W. Behrens
Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
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