Four More Nudibranchs

Supplement to Reef Notes" Aquarium Fish International magazine, December 2011, Vol. 23, No. 12

Phyllidiella pustulosa. Via Steve Childs /Flickr

Supplement to “Reef Notes” by Vincent Hargreaves, Aquarium Fish International magazine, December 2011, Vol. 23, No. 12. Four More Nudibranchs By Vincent Hargreaves

Diaulula nobilis
Family: Dorididae
Natural habitat: West Coast of North America from Alaska to Baja California, Mexico
Description: Often confused with Archidoris montereyensis . However, in Diaulula nobilis, the gills are white-tipped, and the dark brown pigment, if present, does not occur on the tubercles. In Archidoris montereyensis, the gills are the same color as the mantle, and the tubercles are often darkened with pigment. Aquarium suitability: Known to hobbyists as the Mexican sea lemon because of the distinct lemon smell it gives off when handled, this nudibranch feeds on sponges and small benthic organisms on live rock.

Hypselodoris edenticulata
Family: Chromodoridae
Natural habitat: Caribbean, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico at various depths but usually where there is a good growth of sponges
Description: Although it has been postulated that Hypselodoris edenticulata is synonymous with the Mediterranean Hypselodoris picta, I suggest that this is a distinct species. This nudibranch is known as the “regal sea goddess,” and it is easy to see why. Its striking color pattern of black and yellow is unmistakable. Aquarium suitability: This creature will flourish in a reef tank if provided with plenty of live rock and a diet of sponge-based nudibranch or angelfish food.

Phidiana lynceus
Family: Glaucidae
Natural habitat: Reef shallows among colonial hydroids in the Tropical West Atlantic from Florida to Brazil. Also reported from the Pacific coast of Panama and the West African coast of Ghana.
Description: There is an orange band on the oral tentacles and rhinophores. The body has a median white band, and there are two further bands along each side of the ceratal groups. Aquarium suitability: In a mature reef tank with plenty of live rock, this species can find enough food, but you should still offer it nudibranch food.

Phyllidiella pustulosa
Family: Phyllidiidae
Natural habitat: Red Sea, Tropical Indo-Pacific
Description: The rhinophores are black with white sheaths. The black mantle is stiff and leathery, and it is covered with clusters of rosy pink tubercles that are reduced to small beads along the margin of the mantle. The foot is white, and there are no gill processes around the anus. Instead, these are gray lamellae in rows under the mantle skirt. Aquarium suitability: A difficult-to-keep nudibranch because it feeds on benthic sponges. A mature tank with live rock that has sponges growing in the fissures and between the pieces will help keep this species alive.

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Fish · Reef Tanks