Sunday, 14 December 2014

Sunday's Nudibranch: Hypselodoris bullockii

Purple Hypselodoris bullockii with some blue and white areas
Hypselodoris bullockii
By Samuel Chow from Boston,
via Wikimedia Commons
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Superfamily: Doridoidea
Family: Chromodorididae
Genus: Hypselodoris
Species: Hypselodoris bullockii

Today's nudibranch is Hypselodoris bullockii, a very variable in color sea slug, ranging from a pure white to a deep purplish background.

Most individuals have a thin opaque white line at the mantle border, although some have a reddish purple border.

The species was first described in 1881 from a specimen in the South China Sea. Since then, it has been found to occur in the western Pacific as far south as southern Queensland. It is also found off north western Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, in the tropical western Pacific and the central to eastern Indian Ocean.

Like most Doridoidea snails, they are carnivorous, feeding on on bryozoans (moss animals) and sponges.

Video of two adults mating

Hypselodoris apolegma, is a very similar-looking species that was previously assumed to be a different colored variation of H. bullockii. However, recent phylogenetic data confirmed the distinction of the two species, suggesting a sister species relationship between them. H. apolegma can be distinguished by a reticulate pattern gradually merging in to the pinkish purple.

More Images And Videos of Hypselodoris bullockii

two very pale Hypselodoris bullockii specimens
Two very pale individuals
By Richard Ling (Flickr), via Wikimedia Commons

The blue form of Hypselodoris bullockii
Blue specimen
By Jens Petersen, via Wikimedia Commons
Hypselodoris bullockii, pale purple specimen
Pale purple form
By Steve Childs from Lancaster, UK (Flickr), via Wikimedia Commons
slight purple form of Hypselodoris bullockii
Pale purple specimen
By Steve Childs from Lancaster, UK (Flickr), via Wikimedia Commons

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