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Author: (Risbec, 1928)
Order: Nudibranchia Family: Chromodorididae
Maximum Size: 20 mm
Sightings: Sunshine Coast, Whitsundays
Verconia romeri (Risbec, 1928)
The majority of Verconia species of nudibranch are small and Verconia romeri is no exception, growing to a reported maximum size of 20 mm, but more often sighted much smaller at less than 10 mm.
Verconia romeri has a smooth and uniformly pink mantle bordered with a narrow opaque white line. The foot and tail are also pink (often paler) but do not possess that white border, however the tail may exhibit a translucent white tip. The mantle carries large, dorsally opening defensive glands in a submarginal band.
The rhinophore stalk is translucent with the club being either entirely orange or at least for the distal half. The retractile gills form a circle around the anus and are translucent with orange edging. Close observation reveals that the gills vibrate when the animal is on the move.
Rudman reports that Verconia romeri appears to feed upon a pink sponge of the Darwinella genus.
Distribution is essentially Western Pacific. Coleman reports it from as far north as Japan to the Solitary Islands and Lord Howe Island of NSW in the south.
Originally described as Noumea romeri from specimens collected at Noumea, New Caledonia, South West Pacific. Species of Noumea were transferred to Verconia in 2015 when it was realized that the genus Noumea was previously occupied.
David A. Mullins – September, 2021
– Rudman, W. B. (1984). The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: a review of the genera. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 81: 115-273.
– Rudman, W. B. (1995). The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: further species from New Caledonia and the Noumea romeri colour group. Molluscan Research, 16: 1-43.
– Marshall, J. G. & Willan, R. C. (1999). Nudibranchs of Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef: A survey of the Opisthobranchia (sea slugs) of Heron and Wistari Reefs; Backhuys: Leiden, The Netherlands.
– Rudman, W. B., (2000, March 14). Noumea romeri Risbec, 1928. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/noumrome
– Rudman, W. B. & Bergquist, P. R. (2007). A review of feeding specificity in the sponge-feeding Chromodorididae (Nudibranchia: Mollusca). Molluscan Research, 27(2): 60-88.
– Coleman, N. (2008) Nudibranchs Encyclopedia. Neville Coleman’s Underwater Geographic Pty Ltd, Springwood, Qld.