Okenia liklik

Images courtesy of Kevin Lee
Villa Markisa Dive Resort
Bali, Indonesia

Polyclad flatworm mimic

Images courtesy of Kevin Lee
Villa Markisa Dive Resort
Bali, Indonesia

Image courtesy of Kevin Lee

Extreme Mimicry - Okenia liklik Gosliner, 2004 and a wild Polyclad flatworm

Wow - would you check this out - this is the most extreme example of mimicry I have ever seen. It is always a coin toss to say who the mimic is and who is the model, but in this case since members of the genus Okenia are known to produce noxious chemicals, I am guessing the slug is the model and the worm is the mimic.

We describe Okenia liklik in BOW 668. Kevin's critter here is from the same locality - Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia. Looking at that BOW, Kevin's photo here and comparing those to the photo in NSSI 2d Ed., page 56, you will note the degree of variation between specimens. This does not seem to affect the mimic's ability to resemble it.

Kev's crazy flatworm turns out to be an Acotulea member of the genus Paraplanocera, and is quite similar to P. marginata. The placement of the nuchal (head) tentacles held erect over the brain region, and the tentacular eyespots make this an easy ID. This species seems to be undescribed. I have searched everywhere but have not found another photo of this crazy animal.

The pink and white bars along the margin of the beast give the appearance of the marginal papillations of the slug. The brown and white dorsal coloration also matches that of some of the variations of O. liklik. This is one crazy looking flatworm. I wish Leslie Newman and Wolfgang Seifert were around to identify this critter.

For another example of nudibranch/flatworm mimicry see BOW 681 .

Great find Kevin.

Dave Behrens
Sammamish, WA 98074
Jun. 2020
Send Dave email at davidwbehrens@gmail.com
Send Kevin email at diverkevin@gmail.com

Kevin Lee and Ali Hermosillo McKowen
Dive Site Isabella,Galapagos Islands
Photo courtesy of Phil Garner

Kevin certainly needs no introduction to the Southern California Dive Community! On an international level you may have encountered Kevin as he certainly gets around on a life time quest to photograph the many treasures of the undersea world.

Based in Fullerton, California, Kevin Lee's adventure gene has taken him to over forty countries. After learning to scuba dive, in 2002, he embraced underwater photography as a way of sharing the ocean's wonders with non-divers. Though aesthetics is important in his photography, Kevin also strives to capture unique perspectives that are of interest to marine biologists and other scientists who study ocean creatures and their anatomy/phylogeny.

Though Kevin photographs all marine life that fits in his macro lens, opisthobranchs are his favorite subject. He has photographed and collected invertebrate specimens, with proper permitting, all around the world for scientific research. These pursuits have taken him scuba diving in all Seven Continents, including Antarctica where water temperatures were 29F (-2C).

Kevin's work can be seen in the Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Orange, California, where his opisthobranch images are on permanent display. Other works have been exhibited at the Branford House, University of Connecticut; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Monterey Bay Aquarium; Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach; City of Los Angeles (ELC); and other venues. And of course, Kevin continues to contribute marine images for numerous magazines, newspapers, academic literature and many dive related publications.

To view more of Kevin's photography, visit diverkevin.com

Send Kevin email at diverkevin@gmail.com

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