Opisthobranch of the Week Data
Dendrodoris carbunculosa is considered to be very rare on Okinawa. As of this date I've not personally found this attractive dendrodorid although what I'm currently calling Dendrodoris sp. 1 may possibly be a juvenile D. carbunculosa. The above featured animal is one which was photographed here by Mr. Yokoi Kensuke of the "Blue Try" SCUBA & U/W Photo Shop, and his photograph of the animal is used here with his kind permission.
D. carbunculosa is quite similar in appearance to D. tuberculosa which is also found here on Okinawa's main island. Rudman (1998) makes the following comments in distinguishing these two species on the Sea Slug Forum:
Additionally, Rudman (2003) comments:
Earlier workers, (Eliot, Alder & Hancock, Bergh) considered that Kelaart's species was probably just a variety of Dendrodoris tuberculosa (Quoy & Gaimard, 1832), differing only in the colour of the underside of the mantle. In Dendrodoris tuberculosa there are characteristic large white oval spots, while in Dendrodoris carbunculosa the underside of the mantle is a uniform brown or reddish brown, sometimes with darker diffuse patches. The colour and shape are clearly seen in Kelaart's unpublished paintings in the Natural History Museum, London. This species differs in having large individual tubercles separated by smooth sections of the mantle. Each large tubercle is surrounded by a ring of small semispherical bumps. In Dendrodoris tuberculosa the tubercles are packed close together and are often compound. It is possible that these two 'species' are opposite extremes of a range of variation, but I have neither seen nor read of the existence of any intermediate forms.
The black or dark brown background colour on the mantle is often found in D. carbunculosa but never in D. tuberculosa. Also in D. carbunculosa the tubercles are much more scattered than in D. tuberculosa, where they are usually crowded together.
There are currently eight described species of Dendrodoris found in Okinawan waters featured here on the site. These eight featured animals are: