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Hilton's Aeolid

Phidiana hiltoni

Description:

Identified mostly by the reddish line across the oral tentacles (seen in second image) and the reddish base and yellow tips of the rhinophores. The body is long and narrow and white. The cerata that run down both sides of the back are brown with white tips. These can feed on other nudibranchs.

Habitat:

Spotted in an intertidal pool

Notes:

This is a species of Nudibranch " a group of soft-bodied, marine gastropod mollusks which shed their shell after their larval stage" Sometimes called Sea Slugs but most Sea Slugs come from a different family. There are two types of nudibranchs, the dorid which breathe through gills on their back end and Eolid have the soft bristle looking appendages called cerata. What looks antennae are actually called rhinophores which are taste receptors.The tenacles further in front are the oral tentacles that mainly help them find their way. The eyes of Nudibranches are deep set and can only tell light from dark. They feed on sponges, coral, anemones, hydroids, barnacles, fish eggs, sea slugs, and other nudibranchs. Some have restricted diets. They can get their bright colors on species they feed on which give them warning colors to predators. Their defense is a toxin that Eolids get from their prey and Dorids make their own. Most are harmless to humans.

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Jellis
Spotted by
Jellis

California, USA

Spotted on Apr 18, 2014
Submitted on Apr 23, 2014

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