February 1, 2005
From: Debby Ng
Dear Dr Rudman
Uma Sachidhanandam referred me to you regarding the identification of the nudibranch attached with this email. It sits on a giant hydroid. Several people have guessed this as Thecacera picta because I think a certain guide book features a similar-looking animal.
The nudi was photographed in Pulau Hantu, Singapore, an island south of the mainland by Paul Tan. The depth was appx. 10 m, and the time was 12:30pm, on 14 Nov 2004. The nudi's are laying eggs upon a giant hydroid.
The Hantu Blog
This is a nudibranch but not Thecacera. It is a species of Doto, almost certainly what has been called in various picture books, Doto bella. I guess it feeds on this hydroid. As I discuss on the accompanying Fact Sheet, I don't think this is Doto bella. It is probably an unnamed species, but as we know from the species of the North Atlantic, we need to know not only about the anatomy of these species but more about colour variation and food choice before we can sensibly differentiate them. Unfortunately in the past too many species have been named on poor descriptions based on one or two specimens. At this stage I will call it Doto sp. 9.