Opisthobranch of the Week Data
Philinopsis gardineri is considered to be uncommon on Okinawa; seven animals have been collected, several others photographed only, and perhaps an additional half dozen or so others have been seen but neither collected nor photographed. The above featured animal was day collected while on SCUBA during a moderately low tide. It was found crawling on the surface of silty-sand.
Gosliner, et al (1996) point out that P. gardineri is one that probably feeds upon polychaete worms, unlike the sometimes very similar, but variable P. speciosa, which is an opisthobranch predator. The two similar appearing animals are readily separated from each other by external morphology: P. speciosa has the body ends truncated, while that of P. gardineri is more round-headed.
There are to date (mid-September, 2011) five species of Philinopsis reported from Okinawan waters. The five are:
Philinopsis falciphallus P. gardineri The above featured animal P. pilsbryi P. reticulata P. speciosa