OKINAWAN
OPISTHOBRANCH OF THE WEEK

Tritoniopsis elegans (Audouin, 1826) / 72mm

Opisthobranch of the Week Data

Taxonomy:

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


Species Account:

        Tritoniopsis elegans is considered to be relatively uncommon on Okinawa as I have seen and collected a total of 11 individuals, as of 27 December, 1985. In addition to the eleven collected individuals, nine others were photographed, but not collected. Numerous additional individuals have been seen but neither photographed nor collected. Personal records indicate both collected and photo-only specimens came from two sites (Horseshoe Cliffs, and Seragaki); individuals from additional locations were probably(?) seen, but the data was not recorded. All observed Okinawan individuals, both photographed and collected, have opaque white blotches of color on the smooth notum as well as having the dendritic secondary gills densely pigmented in white. Gosliner, et al (2008, p. 334) present several individuals showing slight variations in coloration.

        Like other members of the genus, Tritoniopsis elegans feeds on soft corals and Gosliner, et al (2008, p. 334) point out that T. elegans is a predator on (Lobophyton sp., Sinularia sp., Briareum sp., Scleronephthya sp., Dendronephthya sp., and Pachyclavularia sp.). This investigator, at one time, found 7-8 individuals on a single small alcyonacean octocoral in three feet of water.

        I've added a second page with three additional images of the species from Okinawa.

Etymology:

Literature Cited:

Page Note: Tritoniopsis elegans was previously featured on these pages as Tritoniopsilla alba. T. alba is now considered to be a color form of Tritoniopsis elegans.


Page Date: 02 Apr '12
Page Modification Date: 02 Apr '12
Digitally manipulated photo
Copyright © 2012 Robert F. Bolland