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Tenellia sp. 58

Species Profile

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Tenellia sp. 58

Author: Undescribed

Order: Nudibranchia  Family: Fionidae

Maximum Size: 10 mm

Sightings: Sunshine Coast & Tryon Island, GBR

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Tenellia sp. 58 Undescribed

This small aeolid nudibranch is widest just behind the rhinophores and gradually tapers posteriorly to a tip. What little of the body that can be observed beneath the cerata appears to be translucent. Opaque white pigment is present on the head on the midline behind the rhinophores and also anteriorly. There is a pale blue transverse band anterior to the white followed by white again that also extends one third out along the oral tentacles with the distal two-thirds being orange. The basal third of the rhinophores are orange, middle third is opaque white, with the distal third watery orange – these proportions may vary among specimens. The thick rhinophore bases are closely sited. The tall rhinophores are smooth and taper to a point. Eyespots are visible posteriorly at the rhinophore bases beneath translucent indentations in the white pigment. Cerata are closely packed upon the dorsum and held tightly against the body. The cerata are unevenly covered in opaque white pigment giving a mottled appearance. At the distal end of each ceras there is a very narrow dark blue band followed by a wider light blue band then a white band carrying a yellow spot. The very apex is translucent. The tail is short and tapered being blue in colour with opaque white at the extremity.

Appears to feed on hydroids.

Our Tenellia sp. 58 exhibits many similarities to the image of Tenellia sp. 12 of NSSI-2.

We first recorded a single specimen of this species on 26/11/2021 at Tryon Island, Capricorn Group, GBR whilst on a dive trip. We again recorded two specimens on our first dive upon returning to the Sunshine Coast during a dive on the Gneering Shoals on 08/12/2021.

David A. Mullins – December 2021

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

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