Aegires punctilucens

Aegires punctilucens (d’Orbigny, 1837)

Aegires punctilucens by Luis Ángel Díaz Álvarez

Taxonomy
 

Superdomain

Biota  

 

Kingdom

Animalia  

 

Phylum

Mollusca  

 

Class

Gastropoda  

 

Subclass

Heterobranchia  

 

Infraclass

Euthyneura  

 

Subterclass

Ringipleura  

 

Superorder

Nudipleura  

 

Order

Nudibranchia  

 

Suborder

Doridina  

 

Infraorder

Doridoidei  

 

Superfamily

Polyceroidea  

 

Family

Aegiridae  

 

Genus

Aegires  

 

Species

Aegires punctilucens  (d'Orbigny, 1837)

 
 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 138706).
Synonyms

  • Aegires hispidus Hesse, 1872
  • Aegirus hispidus Hesse, 1872
  • Doris maura Forbes, 1840
  • Polycera horrida Hesse, 1872
  • Polycera punctilucens d’Orbigny, 1837 (original)

Description
Body usually measures about 10 mm with a maximum recorded length of 20mm, and it is heavily spiculated and rigid, with the dorsal surface densely covered with large spiculose flat tipped tubercles, each one with a dark apical spot. Body base color is generally slightly translucent light brown (paler in juveniles, rarely white) with darker brown spots and dense white speckling. Arranged in a symetrical pattern along the body there are several flat discs colored orange-brown, each one encircled by several black spots and with a characteristic iridescent blue central spot. There are two smooth cylinder shaped rhinophores emerging from a sheath that has 3-5 tubercles around the opening. The rhinophores base color is yellowish with two or three brown transversal bands, overall sprayed with white. There are three partially tripinnate gills with a similar color to tubercles, located on the highest point of the dorsum and protected by a raised gill sheath, because they are not retractile. The oral tentacles are short and rounded, located in the space between the foot and the oral veil. Veil with 8 to 10 lobes, visible from below. The foot is colored translucent cream with a translucent white band around it, sprayed in opaque white around the base of the body. It has no propodial tentacles.

Biology
European specimens live from lower shore down to depths of 100m, and feed on the calcareous sponge Leucosolenia botryoides, over which it is perfectly camouflaged -it may be hidden inside the sponge- so it is very difficult to spot. Spawns in June and July, laying a spiral ribbon attached by the edge. Veliger larvae live as plankton before metamorphosing.

Etymology

  • Aegires, related to the Norse and Celtic god of the seashore and ocean, Aegir. Although he was feared for causing storms when angry, he was also reknowned for his hospitality as the brewer of beer for the gods, the sea foam being considered homologous with the froth on a glass of beer.
  • Punctilucens, Latin for “points of light”.

Distribution
This species is present in Norway (near the Arctic circle), the NE Atlantic -it is widespread around the British Islands and Ireland- and south to the Mediterranean. This European species is apparently not uncommon in Japan (Sea Slug Forum), detected in China, and there are some records from eastern Australia (GBIF). Presumably this disjunct distribution is the result of human activity.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Aegires punctilucens
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) "Aegires punctilucens" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 28/08/2012, Accessed: 24/06/2018 at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/4i01M)

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