Hypselodoris dollfusi from Eilat

March 2, 2006
From: J. Dafni

Dear Bill,
This beautiful slug was seen in the northernmost tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, near Eilat, at a depth of 32 m. on a soft coral of some kind. It was spotted by Michael Levin and Razi Cohen, who took these pictures.

Locality: Eilat , 32 m, Israel, Gulf of Aqba, Red Sea, February 25, 206 , loose coral environment. Length: not given. Photographer: Razi Cohen .

Jacob Dafni


Dafni, J., 2006 (Mar 2) Hypselodoris dollfusi from Eilat. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/15989

Dear Jacob,
You are absolutely right when you refer to this species as beautiful.  It is almost certainly a dramatic examples of aposematic warning coloration -advertising to predators - stay away.

Your species is Hypselodoris dollfusi originally described from the Gulf of Suez in a very obscure journal.  Its description was based solely on external coloration, with a painting in the text that suggested that this species look like a road kill run over by a bus.  Gosliner & Behrens (2000) redescribed the species adding its radular morphology and reproductive system to the literature.  That paper added the United Arab Emirates (Gulf of Oman) to its geographic distribution.

Your observation here from Gulf of Aqaba, in the Red Sea, is basically the species type locality.  Nice find.

  • Gosliner, T.M. & Behrens, D.W. (2000) Two new species of Chromodorididae (Mollusca: Nudibranchia) from the tropical Indo-Pacific, with a redescription of Hypselodoris dollfusi (Pruvot-Fol, 1933). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 52(10): 111-124, 7 figs.
  • Pruvot-Fol, A., (1933) Mission Robert Ph. Dollfus en Egypte. Opisthobranchiata. Memoires de l'Institut d'Egypte, 21: 89-159, pls. 1-4.

Best wishes,
Dave Behrens

Behrens, D.W., 2006 (Mar 2). Comment on Hypselodoris dollfusi from Eilat by J. Dafni. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/15989

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