Rostanga bifurcata Rudman & Avern, 1989
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Rostanga bifurcata has close packed caryophyllidia, like all species of the genus Rostanga,
which gives it a spiculate texture. Most species of Rostanga are orange or red, and apparently take
up colour pigments from their sponge food so that their colour exactly matches the sponge they are feeding
on. Individual animals show a close resemblance to their food sponge. This means that colour can vary
within a species quite considerably if the sponge they feed on is itself variable in colour, or if the species
feeds on a number of species of sponge.
External differences can be found in the shape of the rhinophores and in biological characteristics such
as nature of egg mass, size of eggs, and food sponge.
Internally, the radular morphology is the most useful character.
This specimen was identified by Dr. Richard Willan, thanks!
More information on Rostanga bifurcata are on
Bill Rudman's Sea-Slug Forum!