Opisthobranch of the Week Data
The species Noumea laboutei, a beautiful chromodorid named by Rudman (1986), is based on a single 11mm (preserved) specimen collected on 24 March, 1982 from Ilot Gi, New Caledonia (from 12m). Rudman described the species as having a bright yellow mantle and the presence of wine red rhinophores and gills. Although only a single specimen was available for the species description, Rudman felt that the details of both color and anatomy are clearly distinctive from the other yellow-colored Noumea species. N. laboutei is part of a group of yellow Noumea which includes N. flava, N. crocea, N. sulphurea, N. closei and the yellow form of N. haliclona. See Bill Rudman's presentation on the Sea Slug Forum for a description of these yellow-colored Noumea species (the Noumea flava Colour Group). Of the above six species of described yellow Noumea, three are currently known from Okinawan waters,
Noumea laboutei is unknown from Okinawa Island as of mid-January, 2002, but the close proximity of the main island of Okinawa to the Kerama Islands, as well as the similar opisthofauna to that of the Kerama Islands, suggests the possibility that it is also present here on Okinawa proper. The above featured, but uncollected animal, is one which was photographed in the waters of Gahi Island, one of a series of islands in the Kerama Islands Group, which are located 30 ~ 40 kilometers west of the Okinawa capitol, Naha. This featured animal was photographed by Atsushi Ono during September of 2000, in the South area of Gahi Island in 14m of water (the animal was found on the underside of a rock). Atsushi's photograph is used here with his kind permission and also, it should be noted that Atsushi considers the species to be rare in the Kerama Islands in as much as he has seen only the above featured animal as well as a second 15mm individual (per. comm.).
Noumea laboutei is but one of ten species currently confirmed as being found in Okinawa waters. The ten species found here to date (as of mid-January, 2002) are: