February 10, 2009
From: Marcel Tanke
Concerning message #9066:
A record of Dermatobranchus ornatus from Thailand with a light green mantle on which the orange crater rings are clearly visible. It is sitting (feeding?) on something I cannot identify. It is not the gorgonian soft coral behind it.
The lower photo shows triangular black marks on the front of the rhinophore stalks.
Locality: Dive site Bida Nok, 15 meter, Thailand, Andaman Sea, 25 January 2009, sandy area. Length: 7 cm. Photographer: Marcel Tanke.
Tanke, M.A., 2009 (Feb 10) Re:Dermatobranchus ornatus from Thailand, colour variation. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/22216
I think from earlier messages we can be pretty sure that this species feeds on gorgonian soft-corals. Looking at your photos I think the animal is sitting on a branch of the gorgonian on which all the living tissue has been eaten off and we are left with just the skeletal framework.
I have also included a close-up showing how the rhinophore leaflets in arminids are arranged vertically, rather than the dorid method of arranging them horizontally
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