Eubranchus amazighi Tamsouri, Carmona, Moukrim & Cervera 2015
Eubranchus amazighi by Naoufal TamsouriTaxonomy
Class: Gastropoda Cuvier, 1797
Subclass: Heterobranchia J.E. Gray, 1840
Clade: Euthyneura Spengel, 1881
Clade: Nudipleura Wägele & Willan, 2000
Order: Nudibranchia Cuvier, 1817
Suborder: Dexiarchia Schrödl, Wägele & Willan, 2001
Infraorder: Cladobranchia Willan & Morton, 1984
Parvorder: Aeolidida Odhner, 1934
Superfamily: Fionoidea J.E. Gray, 1857
Family: Fionidae Gray, 1857
Genus: Eubranchus Forbes, 1838
Species: Eubranchus amazighi Tamsouri, Carmona, Moukrim & Cervera 2015
Taxonomic note: The phylogenetic analyses performed by Cella et al. (2016) revealed that the traditional Tergipedidae family is polyphyletic and belongs to a larger monophyletic clade including members of the traditional families Eubranchidae, Fionidae and Calmidae; this was an unexpected result, since the validity of these taxa and their distinctness from the Tergipedidae was never questioned before. They proposed to join the families Tergipedidae, Eubranchidae, Calmidae and Fionidae under the name of Fionidae.
The body of this species is slender and elongated, while the rear end of the foot forms a relatively short tail. The front foot corners are rounded. The rhinophores are long, smooth, with a blunt apex. The oral tentacles are cylindrical and shorter than the rhinophores. The eyes are visible through skin right at the base of the rhinophores. The cerata are smooth, inflated, relatively short, and form up to 6 dorso-lateral oblique rows on both sides of the back, their size decreasing in size towards the tail. The body base colour is translucent white with small orange-red spots and small opaque yellow speckles scattered all over the dorsum and sides. The rhinophores and oral tentacles have the same colouration as the body, and a orange-red ring on the upper third of it’s length. The cerata also have the same colouration of the body. The brown coloured digestive gland can be seen by transparency inside the cerata, and a hyaline white cnidosac is visible at the tip of each cerata. The subapical zone of each cerata has an opaque white ring followed by a orange-red ring.
Only 3 Eubranchus species from the NE Atlantic / Mediterranean area have red, orange-red or orange pigmentation on the dorsum. New E. amazighi can be easily distinguished from all these species:
- Eubranchus farrani and E. linensis have orange-red speckles consistently larger than those found in E. amazighi, with the exception of E. farrani form D (Edmunds and Kress 1969), which has one small orange spot on the cerata. Additionally, in E.farrani and E.linensis, this coloration is restricted to the body surface while in E. amazighi is also distributed over the rhinophores, oral tentacles and ceras.
- E.linensis has white rhinophores and oral tentacles, -orange tipped in E. farrani– while in E. amazighi the rhinophores and oral tentacles are covered with small opaque yellow speckles and orange-red spots.
- E.leopoldoi shares some external appearance with E. amazighi, but the dorsum of E. leopoldoi is densely pigmented with bright red speckles and has white spots close to the ceratal insertion, while in E. amazighi the orange-red spots and small opaque yellow speckles on the dorsum and cerata are not so crowded. Furthermore, the cerata of E. leopoldoi present two subapical rings that are not found in E. amazighi: a golden ring around the cnidosac and a bright blue ring just below the former.
Very little is known about this species’ biology. The only two known specimens were found in the Agadir Harbour, Morocco, at 5 m depth on artificial rocks. It probably feeds on hydrozoans, as other Eubranchus do.
- Eubranchus, from Greek, meaning “true gills”.
- Amazighi, refers to the Amazigh culture, people indigenous to North Africa, from Morocco to the west of the Nile Valley and from the Mediterranean Sea to the north of the Niger River. They call themselves some variant of the word i-Mazigh-en (singular: a-Mazigh), possibly meaning “free people” or “free and noble men”. For outsiders they are also known as “berbers”.
So far, Eubranchus amazighi has not been found anywhere else besides the Atlantic coast of Morocco.
|: OBIS||: OPK|
|: GROC 2010-2011||: VIMAR|
|: Enric Madrenas||: Manuel Ballesteros.|
|: João Pedro Silva||: M@re Nostrum|
|: Bernard Picton||: Other sources|
|: GBIF.ORG||: Marine Regions|
This chart displays the observation probability for Eubranchus amazighi
based on our own records.
Bibliography based on the works by Steve Long, 2006. Bibliography of Opisthobranchia 1554-2000 and Gary McDonald, 2009. Bibliographia Nudibranchia, with later updates from other resources.