Sunday, 16 November 2014

Sunday's Nudibranch: Ardeadoris cruenta

Ardeadoris cruenta, red spots visible
Ardeadoris cruenta
By Chad Ordelheide (Own work), [CC-BY-SA-3.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Superfamily: Doridoidea
Family: Chromodorididae
Genus: Ardeadoris
Species: Ardeadoris cruenta (Synonym: Glossodoris cruenta)

Ardeadoris cruenta is a beautiful and colorful nudibranch that occurs in the tropical Western Pacific Ocean. Sightings are relatively rare and the species has been recorded in Queensland of Australia, the Lembeh Straits in northern Sulawesi and the Solomon Islands in Oceania.

The genus name "cruenta" is derived from the feminine form of the Latin "cruentus", which means "stained with blood", a reference to the distinctive red spots on its upper dorsum. It has a pale-lemon colored body with a bright yellow and white lined frilly mantle and foot.

By Heike W├Ągele & Annette Klussmann-Kolb
[CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The red dots follow a circular pattern on its dorsum next to the mantle edge. Both the rhinophores (the antennae-like structures) and gills have the same pale-lemon color as its body, although there is some color variation among individuals. Adults reach a length of at least 5 cm (~2 in).

A. cruenta looks very similar with Ardeadoris rubroannulata, however the two are easily distinguished by the latter's lack of red spots.

Like many nudibranchs, it feeds on sponges.

 Ardeadoris cruenta Video

Photographer: Crawl_ray
[CC BY-SA 3.0]
Photographer: Crawl_ray
[CC BY-SA 3.0]
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