Opisthobranch of the Week Data
This attractive little aegirid, Aegires pruvotfolae is one which was photographed but not collected from a coral reef environment on the side of a rock, within the Kerama Islands Group, which are located 30 ~ 40 kilometers west of the Okinawa capitol, Naha. This featured animal was found feeding on it's host calcareous sponge and photographed by Atsushi Ono during December of 2010 in twelve meters of water. Atsushi's photograph is used here with his kind permission. It should be noted that Atsushi considers the species to be relatively uncommon in the Kerama Islands ... he has seen over ten specimens (pers. comm.). Atsushi has an additional photo in his 2004 publication (p. 122, listed as A. citrinus). There is also an image of A. pruvotfolae on Yasuhiro Shirai's homepage (Opisthobranchs of Kii peninsula) showing a 3mm animal, also listed as A. citrinus. Gosliner, Behrens, and Valdés (2008, p. 141) have the animal illustrated as well.
Fahey & Gosliner (2004) consider Aegires citrinus Pruvot-Fol, 1930 to be a junior homonym of Aegires citrinus (Bergh, 1875) and the new name Aegires pruvotfolae is given to the former species as nomen novum. * This animal was featured earlier on these pages as A. citrinus and changes have been made in agreement with the Fahey & Gosliner (2004) publication.
The following description of the external morphology of Aegires pruvotfolae is taken from Gosliner, Behrens, and Valdés (2008):
EXTERNAL MORPHOLOGY.- The body shape is high and arched. The dorsum has tall, anvil-shaped tubercles with flat tops. Spicules protrude from the tops of all tubercles. The rhinophore pocket is elevated and has one tall tubercle on the outside perimeter. There are two prominent tubercles on the head. The posterior end of the foot has low tubercles that are much smaller than those on the dorsum. The rhinophores are smooth. The gill pocket lies in the posterior third of the dorsum and three large anvil-shaped tubercles protect the anterior side of the gill pocket. The three small gill leaves are tripinnate. The background color is pale to medium yellow. The tubercles are the same color, as are the rhinophores. There are light brown to tan spots that vary in size along the dorsum median, between the tubercles.
The following Aegires species are known from the waters of Okinawa: