Opisthobranch of the Week Data
Godiva rachelae is considered to be very rare in okinawan waters and as far as I'm aware it's not been reported from the water's associated with Okinawa's main island. Atsushi Ono reports (pers. comm.) collecting only the above single individual in the Keramas * although he has seen one additional animal of the same size (30mm) . . . both individuals were found on a sandy bottom environment off Nishihama beach, Aka Island. Atsushi's photograph is used here with his kind permission. There are a series of images of G. rachelae on the South-west Indian Ocean Seaslug site.
Previously two unknown Godiva species have been presented on these pages, Godiva sp. 1 and Godiva sp. 2.
The following description of Godiva rachelae is taken from Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum (2002):
The head of the animal is a watery orange with fine deeper orange speckling and a pair of bright orange lines on each side of the head. The area between each pair of lines is milky yellow. The proximal half of the oral tentacle is a pinkish-purple, except for a patch of milky yellow on the dorsal side. The distal half of the oral tentacle is milky yellow. On each side, from just behind the oral tentacles, a band of milky yellow runs below the cerata to the posterior end of the body. Between each ceratal arch, this yellow band widens. The rest of the body is a pale, watery orange, with a series of markings down the dorsal mid-line. The rhinophores are a watery orange colour with a yellow tip. The foot is translucent white with white patches. The leading edge of the foot and foot corners are milky yellow, and the distal half of the tail is a watery purple. The lower two thirds of the ceratal wall is watery orange. The upper third is transparent, apart from the band of milky yellow just below the tip. The digestive gland appears reddish orange or brownish where masked by the orange ceratal wall, but is a reddish or pinkish purple in the transparent section, the distal part of the digestive gland being a particularly intense purple.
Body elongate and high, growing to at least 37mm long. The rhinophores are long and tapering, appearing slightly wrinkled and annulate in one specimen but smooth in the other two. The oral tentacles are long and slender. The foot is a little wider than the body and at the anterior end the foot corners are long and tapered. The cerata are arranged in 5-7 clusters down each side of the body, each cluster consisting of a multi-rowed arch of cerata on a slightly raised pad. When disturbed, the cerata are held erect, standing 12mm high on a 30mm long animal. At times the animal will swim by lateral flexion of the body.
Egg masses were laid in the aquarium on large hydroid colonies. They form a large, tangled tubular chain of segments containing white eggs. Each segment is approx. 3mm long. Animal was found on the hydroid Eudendrium cf. carneum.
Godiva rachelae agrees in all features with the type-species of the genus, Godiva quadricolor. It differs from that species in colour and in the detailed shape of the radular teeth.
* Keramas = the Kerama Islands Group, located 30 ~ 40 kilometers west of the Okinawa capitol, Naha.