September 13, 2005
From: David Abecasis
These photos were taken in the Azores islands. Are they Hypselodoris picta azorica? Is there such subspecies and how can I identify it?
Locality: Faial island, Azores, Portugal. Depth: 8 m. 9 August 2005. Photographer: David Abecasis
Thanks a lot!
firstname.lastname@example.orgAbecasis, D.A., 2005 (Sep 13) Hypselodoris picta 'azorica' from the Azores. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/14742
This raises an interesting nomenclatural point. It certainly seems to be the animal which Ortea, Valdes & Garcia-Gomez (1996) call Hypselodoris picta azorica but they have not followed normal accepted nomenclatural practice so I doubt if the name is valid. To validly name a subspecies they should have followed the same rules as apply to naming a species, including allocating a type specimen. I assume your animal is just a very dark colour form of H. picta azorica, because in all the other photos I have seen of it, the background colour is purple and there is a yellow border around all of the mantle edge. The reason it is important to designate type specimens is so if later there are problems in identifying the species (or subspecies) there is a reference specimen we can go back to. This should be very obvious to anyone working with chromodorids, where we have so many problems in separating similarly coloured species - like the blue ones in the Mediterranean.
Apart from the black background colouration your animal seems to match other aspects of this subspecies's colour pattern which I summarise on the Fact Sheet.