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liquidguru

Unknown nudi and what's inside?

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I'm not sure what type of nudi this is. I found it around 20m deep, moving along the sand. What made is really stand out was what I saw as I started to take some extreme close up shots. Is it some sort of Flabellina?

 

As you can see, the nudi's body seems to be filled with small white balls. What was even more extraordinary was that some of the balls, the ones running along the bottom of the nudi, were rolling back and forth!! This is something I have never seen before. Does anyone have any idea what this is? Could it be the eggs before they are incorporated into the egg ribbon? I think they look too big for that.

 

Thanks :)

 

Kaj

 

[vimeohd]43333348[/vimeohd]

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Hi Kaj,

 

looks like Phyllodesmium poindimiei.

 

Cheers,

Jim.

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Thanks Jim, that looks like a perfect match. Any idea about the white balls rolling around inside it?

 

Cheers,

 

Kaj

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Hi Kaj -- Another fascinating capture! In a polychaete those balls would be eggs loose in the body cavity but they're way too big for P. poimdimei eggs. I wrote to nudi expert Dave Behrens who wrote to another specialist Terry Gosliner. Here's Terry's answer "It is definitely P. poindimei and I think they are ovotestis follicles that have somehow become dislodged. The animal has lost a lot of cerata and had an encounter with some predator. I suspect they somehow got dislodged during that interaction."

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Hi Leslie,

 

Thank you very much for passing this on and for your and Terry's answer. I'm not quite sure what ovotestis follicles are, but it sure seems to have a lot of them inside it's body. Is this normal for nudis, but we can't usually see them as they are not usually transparent? It's the first time I've seen these inside nudis.

 

Cheers,

 

Kaj

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It's normal & you're probably right - we usually can't see organs unless the body is transparent. The ovotestis are part of the reproductive system in hermaphrodites. They contain follicles which produce eggs & sperm. Some species have a lot of follicles & large ovotestis, some have only a few & small ovotestis. The number, shape, arrangement, & proportion of egg-producing to sperm-producing follicles are some of the characters that nudibranch experts use to classify & identify them.

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So it's a, .....errrrm well endowed Nudi then :)

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Thanks for the explanation Leslie :)

 

And yes Jim, s/he certainly seems to be!!!

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