Flatworm mimic of Chromodoris magnifica

January 19, 2004
From: Mary Jane Adams

Hi Bill,
When I first saw this Pseudoceros sp. flatworm in a dark hole in the reef on Mabul Island, Sabah, Malaysia I thought it was a nudibranch. However, its rapid gliding movement tipped me off that it
a flatworm in disguise.

It was about 10 mm long and about 10 meters deep on "Old Lobster Cave Wall" Nov. 29, 2003. I think the nudibranch it resembles most is Chromodoris magnifica like this one from Milne
Bay, PNG.

Best regards,
Mary Jane


Adams, M.J., 2004 (Jan 19) Flatworm mimic of Chromodoris magnifica. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/11905

Thanks Mary Jane,
This flatworm, which I think is Pseudoceros scriptus Newman & Cannon, 1998 is found throughout the Indo-West Pacific and is most probably a mimic of many of the Chromodoris quadricolor colour group. In some cases the blue has darker specks all over, and the black lines are broken, making it look very like Chromodoris michaeli. Mimicry is a fascinating area for conjecture - and I have done a bit in my time - but unfortunately it is very difficult to show scientifically that there is any significance to two animals looking almost identical. Despite that, I would like to think that this flatworm and the chromodorids are not just similarly coloured by chance.
Best wishes
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2004 (Jan 19). Comment on Flatworm mimic of Chromodoris magnifica by Mary Jane Adams. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/11905



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