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Niparaya sp. 10

Species Profile

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Niparaya sp. 10

Author: Undescribed

Order: Cephalaspidea  Family: Aglajidae

Maximum Size: 7 mm

Sightings: Whitsundays

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Niparaya sp. 10 Undescribed

Our specimen, recorded by Julie & Terry in the Whitsundays, is a good match with the Niparaya sp. 1 of NSSI, 2018 (P. 366). As with all the Niparaya, it is a small species to 7 mm (our specimen 3 mm). White in colour with black and white spots on the headshield, posterior-shield and parapodia. Larger yellow spots are found on the tips of tubercles, the edge of the parapodia and on the caudal lobes (tails). There are raised tubercles on the notum, posterior-shield and along the edges of the parapodia. The caudal lobes (tails) are elongate and tapered, whereas in Niparaya they are most often short and rounded. There is a reduced internal shell.

This is a carnivorous species believed to prey upon small flatworms by actively hunting through and across the substrate. It uses a muscular buccal bulb in lieu of radula and jaws, as with the majority of its fellow Aglajidae family members.

It would appear that there are no insitu sightings recorded thus far (May 2024) with the only reference to this species being of a specimen that was found “Crawling in sea water tanks at the Christensen Research Institute, …  (Gosliner et al. 2018) in Madang PNG.

There is only one described species of Niparaya Zamora-Silva & Malaquias, 2017, thus far, Niparaya regiscorona (Bertsch, 1972), but many others are known and awaiting the attention of taxonomists.

David A. Mullins – May 2024

References:
– Zamora-Silva, A. & Malaquias, M. A. E. (2018 [nomenclatural availability: 2017]). Molecular phylogeny of the Aglajidae head-shield sea slugs (Heterobranchia: Cephalaspidea): new evolutionary lineages revealed and proposal of a new classification. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 183(1): 1-51.

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

– MolluscaBase eds. (2024). MolluscaBase. Niparaya Zamora-Silva & Malaquias, 2017. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at: https://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=1055128 on 2024-05-26.

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