1. The curiosities of the Blue dragon nudibranch

    Commonly referred to as the Blue dragon nudibranch, Pteraeolidia ianthina (Nudibranchia - Facelinidae), is a remarkable species of sea slug native to the Indo-Pacific region.

    This is an extremely elongate species up to 5cm long, with large, curved arches of cerata (the projections on the upper surfaces of the body) along the length of the body. The cephalic tentacles have two distinctive dark purple (or blue) bands.

    Although the body color of this nudibranch is translucent tan, the cerata, which are mostly blue or dark purple, lavender or golden brown, give the nudibranch most of its apparent color.

    The Blue dragon nudibranch has many amazing survival strategies. When touched, the nudibranch will “flare” its cerata and the nematocysts will discharge on contact (it is one of the few nudibranchs with a sting strong enough to be felt by humans though usually not in areas with thicker skin such as the palm of the hand).

    It is also able to autotomize (lose or detach) the posterior part of its body in order to distract, or free itself from, a potential predator. Later, the missing portion can be regenerated.

    Another curiosity of this species is that the cerata contain zooxanthellae of the genus Symbiodinium that exhibit the capacity for photosynthesis, and they grow while reside in the sea slug. This symbiotic relationship with the algae helps the adult nudibranch to overcome a period of food shortage by getting photosynthetic products.

    References: [1] - [2] - [3] - [4]

    Photo credit: ©Sylke Rohrlach

    Locality: New South Wales, Australia

     
  1. origamiboy251 reblogged this from eliazar0723
  2. misscynomys reblogged this from somuchscience
  3. arkward reblogged this from dimens1ons
  4. dimens1ons reblogged this from jedivy
  5. jedivy reblogged this from somuchscience
  6. airridemaster reblogged this from supersheps
  7. secretlyawizard reblogged this from koryos
  8. octopusenvy reblogged this from cephalopodqueen
  9. supersheps reblogged this from pastellieria
  10. pastellieria reblogged this from somuchscience
  11. princesskilljoy reblogged this from koryos
  12. princess-purr reblogged this from rainfrogs
  13. rainfrogs reblogged this from darwinoid
  14. enigmaticeffigy reblogged this from trynottodrown
  15. chrysostmom reblogged this from libutron
  16. nuritaai reblogged this from koryos
  17. avialaeandapidae reblogged this from talkzoology
  18. weredrakka reblogged this from talkzoology
  19. beefarts reblogged this from talkzoology
  20. talkzoology reblogged this from dendroica
  21. frommynest reblogged this from beckyofthesea
  22. redtheaquagirl reblogged this from underwaterdepot
  23. underwaterdepot reblogged this from secretofthesea
  24. kiloueka reblogged this from science-poetry-of-reality
  25. amandamals reblogged this from darwinoid
  26. sabrinaonmymind reblogged this from fluidofiume
  27. fluidofiume reblogged this from boschintegral