Pteraeolidia semperi (Bergh, 1870) [Flabellina]

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Pteraeolidia semperi is the most common aeolid of the Philippines. Divers call it the 'Blue Dragon' because of its likeness to the sinuous shape of traditional Chinese dragons. It is either quite variable in shape and colour or there are a number of similar species. Bill Rudman writes: "...after looking at the anatomy and radula of about 100 specimens from around the Indo-West Pacific, I can find no distinguishing anatomical features." The purple bands on the oral tentacles are fairly distinctive. It rapidly drops off many of its cerata when disturbed (autotomise). Pteraeolidia semperi is what Bill Rudman calls "Solar-powered Sea Slugs". This shot shows the egg-mass of Pteraeolidia semperi.
This species was posted on 24 July 2003 at these websites as Pteraeolidia ianthina (Angas, 1864) [Flabellina],
Wilson & Burghardt (2015) state P. ianthina to be endemic for New South Wales, Australia. Let me quote the abstract:
"The type locality of Pteraeolidia ianthina is Sydney Harbour, New South Wales (NSW), Australia, and according to our study, does not occur outside NSW. Pteraeolidia semperi (Bergh, 1870) and P. scolopendrella (Risbec, 1928) are removed from synonymy with P. ianthina.
Wilson, N. G. and Burghardt, I. (2015), Here be dragons - phylogeography of Pteraeolidia ianthina (Angas, 1864) reveals multiple species of photosynthetic nudibranchs (Aeolidina: Nudibranchia).
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. doi: 10.1111/zoj.12266
More information on Pteraeolidia semperi as Pteraeolidia ianthina are on Bill Rudman's Sea-Slug Forum!
How to cite:
Köhler, E. (2017), published 15 January 2017, Pteraeolidia semperi (Bergh, 1870)
available from https://www.Philippine-Sea-Slugs.com/Nudibranchia/Dexiarchia/Pteraeolidia_semperi.htm