Opisthobranch of the Week Data
Chromodoris colemani is considered to be very rare on Okinawa as I have collected only a single individual over a period of well more than twenty years of diving here. I've photographed six additional individuals, but they were not collected. Rudman (1982) comments on the apparent rarity of the species and also points out that the animal is distinct in color from all previously described species. In Rudman's original description (1982), members of the species possess five black lines, and in some specimens several of the lines may be broken or irregular. The above featured animal was found crawling in the open beneath the pier, amid strewn oyster shell rubble and fine silty sand. It is without the five black lines characteristic of the species, but possibly this is merely an individual variation.
There are two similar-appearing Okinawan chromodorids having sub-marginal orange borders, which fit into this closely related color group, Chromodoris annae and C. magnifica, but the alternating black and orange-brown longitudinal lines of C. colemani distinguish it from the other two.
The animal was named by Bill Rudman in honor of Mr. Neville Coleman, who pioneered the recording, photographing and the collecting of opisthobranchs throughout Australia; he was also instrumental in establishing the Australasian Marine Photographic Index.