Chromodoris annulata - colour variation

January 25, 2001
From: Gordon T. Smith

Dear Bill,

I have been reviewing a lot of my slides recently for scanning purposes and following yesterday's dives at Khorfakkan [Gulf of Oman] I can definitely conclude that if there is a line joining the rings there are fewer yellow spots. [See Gordon's earlier message]. I found seven creatures yesterday (3 with lines) in slightly different locations, in fact first time I have found both types in the same area.

Although I hate to interfere with nature, what would be the chances of a pair mating if put together (i.e. one with the joining line and one without), would this prove that they are both of the same species?

Best regards
Gordon

aquashot@emirates.net.ae

Smith, G.T., 2001 (Jan 25) Chromodoris annulata - colour variation. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3586

Dear Gordon,
If they are living in the same area then I don't think you would be interfering with nature by putting the different colour forms together. In fact you would be "letting nature take its course". Like most areas of science there are debates going on in biology over just what is a species. Keeping it simple, I would certainly consider two animals I found mating to be of the same species. It is also most unlikely that two animals, which were different species, could be made to mate simply by putting them in close proximity.

I think it would be an excellent test, especially if you were able to photograph them in action.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Jan 25). Comment on Chromodoris annulata - colour variation by Gordon T. Smith. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3586

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