Opisthobranch of the Week Data
I've not found Phyllidiopsis shireenae in the waters of Okinawa's main island as of the current date. Atsushi Ono considers P. shireenae to be very rare in the waters of the Keramas* and reports seeing two individuals. The above featured animal was found by Atsushi in twelve meters of water from a vertical wall at the edge of a coral reef. The image of the above featured animal, as well as the second animal linked on this page, is used here with Atsushi's kind permission. I've added an additional page with an image of a second animal, also collected by Atsushi in the Keramas.
The following description of external morphology is taken from Brunckhorst (1993):
External Morphology Phyllidiopsis shireenae is elongate in shape and possesses a relatively soft, but firm body. The dorsum is generally a very pale shade of pink (ranging to white in a few specimens). In lateral view, the body's visceral hump appears tall, forming a raised, longitudinal crest, which is triangular in cross section. . . . Encircling the perimeter of the visceral hump is a black band. In most specimens, four black lines diverge from the black band and run to the mantle edge. One black line occurs anteriorly and one at the posterior extremity. Two lines arise laterally, one on either side of the dorsal crest. Minor variations of this pattern include a diverging black line which does not run right to the mantle edge, a black line running across the dorsal crest, or a few, small, irregularly shaped, black patches on the dorsal crest. A number of small, rounded tubercles occur on the mantle skirt. Larger tubercles with angular edges are sparsely scattered over the dorsal crest. The rhinophores are pale salmon pink and each clavus possesses 17-20 lamellae (specimens greater than 40 mm). The anus opens at the posterior end of the crest. Ventrally, the hyponotum, foot and oral tentacles are white. The fused oral tentacles have a broad base and are short with broad, rounded tips. The gills are dark grey. There is a black band behind the gills where the notum meets the sides of the foot.
As of mid-July, 2007, the following eight described species of Phyllidiopsis have been featured on the Okinawa Slug Site:
* Keramas = the Kerama Islands Group, located 30 ~ 40 kilometers west of the Okinawa capitol, Naha.