Janolus ignis from New Zealand

June 5, 2003
From: Wade Doak & Crispin Middleton

Dear Bill,
Crispin Middleton has posted the following message and photos on my website www.wadedoak.com. It is from the Poor Knight's Islands in northern New Zealand and we can't identify it.
Wade Doak

"On a fantastic night dive last weekend at Blue Maomao arch [Poor Knights Islands, NE New Zealand, May 2003] I spotted these small red nudibranchs on the underside of a rock, close to the entrance to the archway. I haven’t seen them before or managed to identified them. They were blood red and only about 2-3cm long. Initially I thought they were some kind of anemone similar to waratah anemones, close inspection proved otherwise! The pictures are not as clear as I hoped, it was quite a squeeze under a rock to reach the little fellas!

Crispin Middleton"


Dear Wade & Crispin,
Thanks Crispin for permission to post your message and photos from Wade Doak's excellent divesite at www.wadedoak.com.

To my knowledge this is the first report of Janolus ignis since its description in 1986. I have prepared a Fact Sheet on the species based on that description in which the colour is described as 'deep brick orange'. The animal in Crispin's description look more 'plum red' to me but the brilliant violet markings, and colour of the rhinophores, match Miller & Willan's description well, so I have little doubt that this is J. ignis. I suspect the bushy plant-like growth with small red specks, which the animal is nestled in, is the red arborescent bryozoan Orthoscuticella aff. margaritacea which is reported to be its food.

This is an interesting addition to our knowledge, and a new species to add to the Sea Slug Forum
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Jun 5). Comment on Janolus ignis from New Zealand by Wade Doak & Crispin Middleton. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10152


Janolus ignis

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