OKINAWAN
OPISTHOBRANCH OF THE WEEK

Stylocheilus striata (Quoy & Gaimard, 1832) 25mm

Opisthobranch of the Week Data

Taxonomy:

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


Species Account:

        Stylocheilus striata is considered to be uncommon here on Okinawa; I've collected only three animals although modest numbers of others have been occasionally seen. These well camouflaged anapsids feed on blue-green algae and like many other members of the family, they releases a tell-tale reddish purple aplysiid pigment when disturbed. The specific name of the animal has reference to the elongated tail-like extension of the posterior end of the foot.

        S. striata is known from many areas and is considered to be circumtropical in distribution. The above featured animal was found amid a dense stand of miscellaneous rooted angiosperms (Halophyta & Thalassia spp.) and algae (browns, greens, and reds) in an environment of mixed coral rubble and silty-sand.

        The presence of fine longitudinal dark lines and small pink or blue centered ocelli serve to distinguish this cryptic aplysiid from other members of the Order. S. striata is widely distributed and is considered to be circumtropical.


Copyright © 1999 Robert F. Bolland
Digitally manipulated photo