Opisthobranch of the Week Data
Hoplodoris estrelyado is considered to be very rare in Okinawan waters; I've not personally collected any specimens from Okinawa's main island and Atsushi Ono mentions (pers. comm.) seeing only two individuals in the Keramas.* The above featured animal was found and photographed by Atsushi in six meters of water from beneath a slab of coral rubble. I've added a second page with an additional image of a different individual, also photographed by Atsushi in the Keramas (Zamami Island). I've previously featured one other member of the genus from Okinawa's main island, Hoplodoris bifurcata as well as an additional species from the Keramas, Hoplodoris grandiflora.
Distribution of H. estrelyado was reported by Gosliner & Behrens (1998) to include Indonesia, the Marshall Islands, the Philippine Islands, Vietnam, and Western Australia. More recently, as depicted in the Sea Slug Forum, the species is also known from the Coral Sea and the Solomon Islands.
There is an additional photograph of this attractive dorid as well as a description by Dave Beherens on Mike Miller's Slug Site.
The following description concerning the external morphology of Hoplodoris estrelyado is taken from Gosliner & Behrens (1998):
The living animals are 15-40 mm in length. The body is oval and flat, the notal surface covered with large tapering tubercles, which lack spicules that project from the tubercles. The coloration of the living animals is complex and strikingly unique. The ground color of the notal surface is translucent tan with dark brown and white specks. An oval pattern of tubercles resembling fried eggs, a white patch with yellow center, surrounds a medial group of dark brown tubercles. The size of the white, egg-like ring becomes smaller on the tubercles nearer the margin. The tubercles forming the 6-8 largest fried egg patterns are each encircled by 8-10 smaller white tubercles. A few tan colored tubercles are dispersed about the notal surface, and are particularly abundant near the center of the notum. The underside of the foot and mantle are speckled with dark brown. The anterior margin of the foot is bilabiate and notched. On either side of the head is a long, digitiform tentacle which also is covered with brown speckles. Six tripinnate branches form the branchial plume, which is tan with dark brown and white specks. The anus is situated within the gill circle. The perfoliate rhinophores bear about 13-19 lamellae and are dark reddish brown with white specks.
* Keramas = the Kerama Islands Group, located 30 ~ 40 kilometers west of the Okinawa capitol, Naha.