OKINAWAN
OPISTHOBRANCH OF THE WEEK

Plocamopherus tilesii Bergh, 1877 (49mm)

Opisthobranch of the Week Data

Taxonomy:

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


Species Account:

        Plocamopherus tilesii as well as additional members of the genus are reported to emit luminescence when disturbed (Okata & Baba, 1938; Rudman, 1998). Luminescence was not observed in the above featured animal, although I've previously seen it in an undescribed Okinawan Plocamopherus sp.

        P. tilesii is considered rare on Okinawa as the above featured animal has been the only one I've seen here. The specimen was found during a mid-morning SCUBA excursion in an area of mixed sand and coral rubble; also, high numbers of the small solitary dendrophylliid coral, Heteropsammia cochlea were present on the surface of the sand. As a slab of coral rubble was overturned, the animal was found half buried in silty-sand. When disturbed the broad fin-like tail was observed to rapidly swing back and forth from head to tail, very similar to the behavior seen in Bornella anguilla.

Literature Cited:


Page Date: 31 Jan '00
Page Modification Date: 19 Mar '12
Digitally manipulated photo
Copyright © 2012 Robert F. Bolland