Pectenodoris aurora Johnson & Gosliner, 1998 (20mm)
[photo by Atsushi Ono]

Opisthobranch of the Week Data


Frequency on Okinawa: Collection Data:
[brackets indicate range for all Okinawa-collected specimens of the species]

Species Account:

        Pectenodoris aurora is a small, attractive, recently described Okinawan chromodorid. The following species description, in part, is taken from Johnson & Gosliner (1998). The species is known from the western edge of the Pacific, and currently only from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Okinawa (including the Kerama Islands). Its recorded depth range is between 10 and 55m, and it ranges in size between 6~8mm [the above featured "photo only" animal from Atsushi Ono (1999), was recorded as being 20mm]. The body shape is oval with a wide mantle overlap. The mantle, body and foot are all light pink in color and this color darkens to maroon on the edges of the mantle and the posterior tip of the foot. Three parallel whitish yellow, continuous or interrupted longitudinal bands run from the rhinophores to the gills. These bands are each outlined by a thin opaque white line. The central and longest of these bands completely encircles the gill cavity. The lighter pink areas between the bands are dotted with 5~7 dark pink to purple spots and occasional opaque white spots.

        Johnson and Gosliner selected the specific name of this attractive little chromodorid from Roman mythology, Aurora, the Roman goddess of the morning ("This species is marked with all of the beautiful colors of a great sunrise").

        Pectenodoris aurora is considered to be very rare on Okinawa as I have seen and collected only a single specimen and as it turns out, the specimen is the designated holotype*. The poor quality of the two holotype photographs are poor enough that I asked and received permission from Atsushi Ono to use his superior image seen above.

        The above featured, but uncollected animal, is one which was photographed in the waters of Gahi Island, one of a series of islands in the Kerama Islands Group, which are located 30 ~ 40 kilometers west of the Okinawa capitol, Naha. This featured animal was photographed by Atsushi Ono (1999) in 1998 and is used here with his kind permission. This same animal is featured in his Opisthobranchs of Kerama Islands, 1999, photo # 147, p. 94.

*Holotype: See "Type" Dictionary for explanation.

Literature Cited:

Page Date: 19 Feb '01
Page Modification Date: 19 Feb '01
Digitally manipulated photo
Copyright © 2001 Robert F. Bolland