Opisthobranch of the Week Data
Phestilla sp. 1 is considered to be very rare in the waters of Okinawa's main island. The above featured animal was photographed by Kazuko Matsuda and he reports (pers. comm.) this is the only individual he has seen. I'm not aware that it has previously been seen here. Kazuko photographed the animal off the Sunabe Sea Wall, a popular dive site for many divers; it was found crawling on a flat rock in an area of silty-sand in 17 meters near the reef slope drop-off. Kazuko's photograph is used here with his kind permission.
Bill Rudman (2000) comments in the Sea Slug Forum that he had initially seen this animal in Tanzania more than thirty years ago and that it is not uncommon throughout the tropical Indo-West Pacific. Bill mentions that it feeds on the coral Goniopora, one of the scleractinian zooxanthellate corals.
In addition to Phestilla sp. 1, there are three described members of the genus currently known from Okinawa's main island. The three described Phestilla species found here are: