Head & sensory organs of Tambja morosa

July 24, 2003
From: Bill Rudman


In Todd Garthwaite's recent messages concerning Tambja sagamiana and T. morosa from Taiwan, the characteristic 'sensory pits' on the side of the head are very well illustrated so I have posted here close-ups from his photos of T. morosa.

In the upper photo, below the rhinophore there is a long black ridged structure. Usually all we see is a dark line, or groove along the side of the head, and so it is often overlooked as another of the many longitudinal ridges found on the body of these nudibranchs. In preserved specimens it is even more difficult to see. In the middle photo the sensory organ is 'half open' and in the lower photo it is fully 'everted' to show its structure of compound ridges.

The function of this organ has, to my knowledge, not been investigated, but it is heavily innervated, so I have little doubt that it has a chemosensory function, used by the animal to locate colonies of its bryozoan food.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Jul 24) Head & sensory organs of Tambja morosa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10513

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Tambja morosa

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