November 24, 2009
From: Apte Deepak
Dear Dr. Rudman
We got this interesting species yesterday at Poshitra reef, type locality of Sakuraeolis gujaratica. Black rhinophores are so distinct. Can you help identify?
Locality: Poshitra, exposed reef, Gujarat, Arabian Sea, 15 November 2009, exposed reef. Length: 10mm. Photographer: Deepak Apte.
It is nearly 40 years ago since I was in the Gulf of Kutch - and as I discovered, June was the wrong time of the year. Most sensible opisthobranchs had left for cooler climes. Sakuraeolis gujaratica was one of very few finds my wife and I made.
Your animal is Facelina lineata Eliot 1905 which was described from East Africa. I found 5 specimens identical to yours in Tanzania in the 1970s. Unfortunately Eliot described another very similarly coloured species in the same paper as Hervia lineata, which I am calling on the Forum Cratena lineata. If they turn out to belong in the same genus then one will need a name change. However until we work out just how many white-lined species there are with red marks on their head, new names are probably best left as there are possibly a number of existing ones which could be used.
For example Baba (1949) illustrates an animal he identifies as Hervia lineata but it differs from Eliot's description in having a central red spot on the head as well as the lateral ones, as found in Facelina lineata.
This is an interesting addition