New species?

Date January 13, 2009

This little nudibranch photographed at Pulau Hantu by Ivan Choong in December 2008 just might be a new species. Or is it?

Avid Hantu Blog diver and blogger Toh Chay Hoon writes on her blog:

This nudibranch looks similar to Okenia purpurata.

But the thing is that Okenia purpurata, according to The Sea Slug Forum, has 4 to 5 gills. Whereas, the ones found at Hantu as shown in the pics above have only 3 gills. Moreover, both the Forum and the book stated that Okenia purpurata is Australia endemic.

[According to] three nudibranch experts (Dr Richard Willan, David W. Behrens and Neville Coleman) … they all agreed that it looks similar to Okenia purpurata. With Dr Richard Willam temporarily naming it as Okenia cf purpurata.

This means that it could be Okenia purpurata or something closely related or looks quite like it. This also mean that its ID will remain a mystery until further study can be done about its internal anatomy.

This nudibranch was also documented by The Hantu Blog during our dives on 27th May 07 and 21st Oct 06.

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