OKINAWAN
OPISTHOBRANCH OF THE WEEK

Phyllodesmium briareum (Bergh, 1896) 18mm

Opisthobranch of the Week Data

Taxonomy:

Frequency on Okinawa: Collection Data:
[brackets indicate range for all Okinawa-collected specimens of the species]


Species Account:

        Phyllodesmium briareum is considered to be common on Okinawa. Although I've only collected four specimens, many other individuals have been seen and photographed. I commonly find these attractive aeolids associated with the alcyonacean coral Pachyclavularia violacea, which is frequently seen in less than 10m here. The nudibranch very closely resembles the open polyps of the coral; sometimes the resemblance is so close that the polyps must be stimulated to retract in order to confirm the presence of the aeolids. I've counted as many as twelve of these attractive animals on a 30cm X 30cm patch of the host coral.

        Rudman(1991) lists it as feeding on Alcyonaceans of the family Briareidae; Gosliner, Behrens, & Williams (1996) specifically point out that it feeds on Pachyclavularia violacea.

Literature Cited:


Page Date: 03 Aug '98
Page Modification Date: 01 Mar '15
Digitally manipulated photo
Copyright © 2015 Robert F. Bolland