Ziminella vrijenhoeki Valdes, Lundsten & Wilson 2018. |
This week we have another new species discovered during whale fall studies (a time-series analysis of whale fall ecology) carried out by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). This species is typically aeolidean in body shape. Body cream to reddish orange. The cerata are densely packed, containing red digestive branches and white cnidosacs. The rhinophores smooth and light orange in color.
The two specimens were photographed and one collected by the ROV Doc Ricketts (seen below). I think it is so wonderful that this new discovery was made by an ROV named aptly after one of my favorite early California marine biologists Dr. Ed Ricketts (seen at left), the main character in John Steinbeck's classic novel "Cannery Row" the story of Doc's life in Monterey, California.
The holotype was found on a blue whale skeleton (implanted 5 October 2004) at a depth of 1018m depth, and the paratype a natural whale carcass found nearby in 595m depth. The specimens were 20 & 24 mm in length, respectively. Two specimens were filmed on scattered whale bones of the shallower carcass, but only one was collected.
The species is named in honor of Robert C. Vrijenhoek, MBARI Senior/Adjunct Evolutionary Biologist. Bob was the Chief Scientist of MBARI's whale-fall time series surveys, during which these specimens were collected.
Reference: Valdes,A. & Lundsten, L. & Wilson, N. (2018). Five new deep-sea species of nudibranchs (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia: Cladobranchia) from the Northeast Pacific. Zootaxa. 4526. 401. 10.11646/zootaxa.4526.4.1.
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Attention all you Sluggers, and you know who you are!
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This new 2nd Edition is updated and reorganized, including 185 new species. Among other features, the new edition includes additional photographs of species, an identification key, and an up-to-date classification reflecting the latest evolutionary relationships. The Indo-Pacific represents the largest expanse of tropical ocean in the world, stretching from the Indian Ocean coast of southern Africa and the Red Sea to the central Pacific of the Hawaiian Islands, Easter Island and the Marquesas.
This region supports the most diverse marine fauna of any place in the world for most groups of marine organisms. The nudibranchs and sea slugs are no exception to this rule; there are about 3,000 described species of these organisms in the world and at least 40% of these have been found exclusively in the Indo-Pacific tropics. This book illustrates 2,138 Indo-Pacific nudibranchs and sea slugs, including many undescribed species.