Damaged? Chromodoris annulata

June 21, 2006
From: Kamal El Tawil

Hi Bill:
The gills and rhinophores of this Chromodoris annulata are not normal. Can you comment ? Picture was taken on a night dive.

Locality: Dangerous reef, St. John's Reef - Egyptian Red Sea, 8 metres, Egypt, Red Sea, 10 June 2006. Length: 4 cms. Photographer: Kamal el Tawil.

Regards,
Kamal
www.coralworld.net

kamal@coralworld.net

El Tawil, K., 2006 (Jun 21) Damaged? Chromodoris annulata. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/16920

Dear Kamal,
From the look of the gills and rhinophores I would say that they have been damaged. I don't think it's a result of developmental abnormality. My guess is that they have been bitten by some inquisitive fish. Species of Chromodoris have mantle glands around the mantle edge which contain distasteful chemicals, acquired from their food sponges, which give them considerable protection for predation [see #15481]. Some species also contain small packets of these chemicals in their gills and rhinophores, which can be seen as small opaque white spots. However these defences aren't perfect, and fish have to have a taste before they learn to avoid chromodorids. Since the animal is still alive I guess the taste test worked. Most nudibranchs can repair this sort of damage quite quickly.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (Jun 21). Comment on Damaged? Chromodoris annulata by Kamal El Tawil. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/16920

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