Phyllidiopsis pipeki Brunckhorst, 1993 (39mm)
OPISTHOBRANCH OF THE WEEK
Opisthobranch of the Week Data:
Frequency on Okinawa:
- Order: NUDIBRANCHIA
- Suborder: Doridina
- Family: Phyllidiidae
[brackets indicate range for all Okinawa-collected specimens of the species]
- Individual Collection No: RFB #2528-F
- Location: Horseshoe Cliffs, Okinawa (26o30.0'N, 127o50.9'E) [Horseshoe Cliffs, Seragaki]
- Date: 6 May, 1991 [11 Mar '90, 6 May '91, 20 Jul '94, 8 Apr '95]
- Depth: 180ft (55m) [150ft, 150ft, 180ft, 180ft]
- Water temperature at collection depth: Not recorded
- Size: TL 39mm [37mm, 39mm, 64mm, 1 indiv. w/o size being recorded]
- Specimen deposited: RFB Personal Research Collection)
Phyllidiopsis pipeki is considered to be rare on Okinawa. I've collected only four individuals over a good many years of diving here. In addition to the four collected specimens, I've photographed five others. It's perhaps interesting to note that all individual animals (both collected and those only photographed) were found between 140 and 180ft (43-55m). In David Brunckhorst's (1993) description of the species, he reports that the material he examined was found between 10 and 25m; possibly the sponges these animals prey on are found in deeper waters on Okinawa than other areas of the tropical/subtropical Indo-West Pacific Ocean.
There are two other described phyllidiid nudibranchs on Okinawa which can be confused with Phyllidiopsis pipeki, both belonging to a separate genus, Phyllidiella granulata and P. rudmani, but the relatively large white-tipped pink tubercles as well as the two meandering black horizontal lines on the dorsum of P. pipeki immediately identify this attractive animal.
- Brunckhorst (1993) named the species in honor of Mr. George Pipek who encouraged him in research diving and training to the instructor level in SCUBA.
- Brunckhorst, D.J. 1993. The systematics and phylogeny of Phyllidiid Nudibranchs (Doridoidea). Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 16: 1-107.
Page Date: 27 Apr '98
Page Modification Date: 22 Apr '02
Digitally manipulated photo
Copyright © 2002 Robert F. Bolland