September 12, 2007
From: Bill Rudman
To complement Colin Ogden's message [#20692], here are some photos of an animal whiich I collected and photographed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and which I identified as Cerberilla africana. Previously it was known from the single specimen described by Eliot from Zanzibar.
Locality: Fungu Yasin Is., off Kunduchi Bch, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 20 July 1973. Photo: Bill Rudman.
The colour is known from only these two specimens. The body is translucent white with a brownish dusting over the head and up the oral tentacles where it merges into a blue band and a translucent white tip. The rhinophores are translucent white with a blue band, and on the outside of each rhinophore, there is a brown ring on the head surrounding a large white patch. The ceratal colour changes depending on the size and position of each ceras but the following succession of colour bands up the cerata is fairly uniform, except the width of each band can chnage. The basal band ranges from whitish grey to green or dark brown, and above this is a thin band of dark brown or black. Above this is a thin white band which can be bright yellow or brownish orange in the longer cerata. Above this the cerata are blue, the colour varying from a pale greyish blue to a bright blue.
The photos from South Africa [message #20692] are almost certainly this species. Another species from the western Pacific, C. affinis, is possibly the same species, but we know too little about colour variability at present to be sure.
Eliot, C.N.E (1903) On some nudibranchs from East Africa and Zanzibar, Part II. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1: 250-257.