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Eubranchus sp. 22

Species Profile

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Eubranchus sp. 22

Author: Undescribed

Order: Nudibranchia  Family: Fionidae

Maximum Size: 20 mm

Sightings: Anilao, Philippines


Eubranchus sp. 22
The rhinophores are mottled brown and translucent with small spots of opaque white pigment randomly scattered over them. The oral tentacles are light brown with similar white spotting. The cerata are thick and translucent with the brown digestive diverticulum visible within. Two swellings are present on the cerata however the tubercles are not always regularly arranged upon those swellings. The tips of the cerata form a long cone shape that is covered in a dusting of opaque white pigment.

This species exhibits some similarities to our Eubranchus sp. 10 from the Sunshine Coast, our Eubranchus sp. 25 from Indonesia, our Eubranchus sp. 26 from Indonesia and our Eubranchus sp. 27 from Indonesia. The Eubranchus sp. 26 of NSSI, 2018 and the described Eubranchus putnami Cunha et al., 2023 from the Maldives, Indian Ocean, are also somewhat similar.

We believe there is a clade of taxonomically cryptic species involved here.

The image of Eubranchus putnami in the paper is poor and the description is limited to almost confusing. The description is based upon a single 7 mm specimen.  Additionally, the authors of the paper state:
Somehow similar-looking morphotypes have been reported …. and a molecular study of those throughout the distribution is required to further ascertain their status.”

Therefore in view of that statement, the different localities to the holotype and the differences we have observed we are keeping separate, for now, those specimens with contradictory external morphological features. Should future work show them all to highly variable examples of the one species we will then post them as those variations.

David A. Mullins – April 2024

– Gosliner, T. M., Valde ́s, A ́. & Behrens, D. W. (2018). Nudibranch & Sea Slug Identification – Indo-Pacific, 2nd Edition. New World Publications, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

– Cunha, T. J., Fernández-Simón, J., Petrula, M., Giribet, G. & Moles, J. (2023) Photographic Checklist, DNA Barcoding, and New Species of Sea Slugs and Snails from the Faafu Atoll, Maldives (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia and Vetigastropoda). Diversity 2023, 15, 219.

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