Hypselodoris pulchella

Hypselodoris pulchella (Rüppell & Leuckart, 1830)

Hypselodoris pulchella @ Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt (Red Sea) 27/09/1996 by Erwin Köhler

Taxonomy
 

Superdomain

Biota  

 

Kingdom

Animalia  

 

Phylum

Mollusca  

 

Class

Gastropoda  

 

Subclass

Heterobranchia  

 

Infraclass

Euthyneura  

 

Subterclass

Ringipleura  

 

Superorder

Nudipleura  

 

Order

Nudibranchia  

 

Suborder

Doridina  

 

Infraorder

Doridoidei  

 

Superfamily

Doridoidea  

 

Family

Chromodorididae  

 

Genus

Hypselodoris  

 

Species

Hypselodoris pulchella  (Rüppell & Leuckart, 1830)

 
 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 597870).
Synonyms

  • Chromodoris pulchella (Rüppell & Leuckart, 1830)
  • Doris pulchella Rüppell & Leuckart, 1830 (original)
  • Risbecia pulchella (Rüppell & Leuckart, 1830)

Description
Body with a maximum recorded length of 110mm. The mantle is white or creamy white with numerous small yellow orange spots. The edge of the mantle has a light purple thin band with a series of irregular purple patches growing from the edge into the body, quite variable from one specimen to another and very small in juveniles, that form a reticulate of pale purple hue all over the mantle in mature specimens. The underside of the mantle is white with yellow orange spots and there is a light purple border somewhat wider than the upperside dorsal margin. The front of the mantle forms a large veil that continuously waves when the animal is moving. The sides of the body and the foot are white with yellow-orange spots and the tappered tip of foot has traces of the pale purple reticulate pattern similar to the one on the dorsum, and a light purple edge. The rhinophore stalk is white with a deep purple club with 15-16 lamellae and a white median line on the anterior and posterior sides. The gills are translucent white and edged in purple, often branched and numerous (from 20 to 30) in mature specimens.

Biology
Very little is known about its diet. The study of the gut contents of this species revealed the presence of small fragments of polychaete worms, copepods and very few algal filaments, together with a considerable amount of calcareous sponge spicules, so it seems probable that it feeds on sponges and accidentally eats the other organisms (Aboul-Ela, 1959). When recently spawned, the egg ribbon is reddish orange and it is attached along one edge in a spiral, the free edge being slightly wavy. The anterior part of the mantle waves up and down when the animal is moving. The gills are often waved rhythmically from side to side. There is a characteristic trailing behaviour found in this species, where pairs of animals are often found following each other in single row, the second animal in the line touching the ‘tail’ of the one in front. There are two other dorid species sharing part of the distribution range that could be easily confused with Hypselodoris pulchella: Hypselodoris ghardaqana and Goniobranchus annulatus. Gohar & Aboul-Ela (1957) give differentiation keys that we synthethise in the following comparison chart:

H.pulchellaG.annulatusH.ghardaqana
Dorsum colorcreamy white w/yellow spots, purple difuse reticulatranslucent white w/yellow spots, purple circleswhite w/yellow spots
Max.size110 x 30 mm64 x 20 mm55 x 13 mm
Rhinophoreslong, dark blue w/white axislong, conical, deep purpleshort, reddish purple w/pink red axis
Gills20-30, branched, kept vertical, vibratile9-12, not branched, kept vertical, vibratile9-11, not branched, kept horizontal, non-vibratile
Egg-Ribbonreddish orange, free edge wavycreamy white, free edge not wavywhite, free edge slightly wavy, single layer of eggs
PhotoHypselodoris pulchella by Erwin KöhlerErwin Köhler ©Goniobranchus annulatusMiquel Pontes ©Hypselodoris ghardaqanaBrian Mayes ©

Etymology

  • Hypselodoris. From Greek “hypsos”, height, high + “Doris”, a sea nymph in Greek mythology, wife of Nereus, nymph of the waters and mother of Nereids.
  • Pulchella. From Latin “pulchellus”, nice, charming.

Distribution
This species is widespread in the Indopacific (it has been cited in Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Kenya, Mozambique, Réunion, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iran) and is common in the Red Sea. A report from Calkidiki, Greece (Savvidis, L., 2/11/2016), still unpublished, is the first record in the Mediterranean, and is probably related to a Lessepsian dispersion event.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Hypselodoris pulchella
Sources:
: OBIS
: GROC 2010-2011
: Enric Madrenas
: João Pedro Silva
: Bernard Picton
: GBIF.ORG
: OPK
: VIMAR
: Manuel Ballesteros.
: M@re Nostrum
: Altres fonts
: Marine Regions

Abundance

    Western Mediterranean:
    Eastern Mediterranean:
    Atlantic Ocean:

More pictures

Bibliography

Further reading

Cite this article as:

Pontes, Miquel, Manuel Ballesteros, Enric Madrenas (2012-2018) "Hypselodoris pulchella" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 07/11/2016, Accessed: 15/08/2018 at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/pcbeP)

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