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Flabellina capensis

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Kingdom  Animalia
Family  Flabellinidae
Scientific name  Flabellina capensis
Higher classification  Flabellina
Superfamily  Flabellinoidea
Genus  Flabellina
Phylum  Mollusca
Rank  Species
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People also search for  Flabellina, Nudibranch

The white-edged nudibranch, Flabellina capensis, is a species of sea slug, specifically an aeolid nudibranch, a very colourful sea slug. It is a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Flabellinidae.

Contents

Distribution

This species is endemic to the South African coast and is found only from the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula to Port Elizabeth in 10–30 m of water.

Description

The white-edged nudibranch is a slender pale-bodied aeolid with numerous dark red cerata all edged with white. It is usually smaller than 40mm. It has rugose pale rhinophores. It has a pair of elongated oral tentacles having an opaque white stripe.

Ecology

This aeolid feeds on hydroids of the genus Eudendrium. In common with other aeolid nudibranchs, the cerata of white-edged nudibranch aid in respiration but also contain extensions of the digestive system. The white-edged nudibranch eats the hydroid and passes its nematocysts unharmed through its digestive system to the tips of its cerata. Here the nematocysts mature and are then used by the nudibranch for its own defence. It is probable that the bright colours of the white-edged nudibranch serve to advertise to predators that it is toxic.

The white-edged nudibranch is hermaphrodite. The egg mass is highly convoluted and creamy white.

References

Flabellina capensis Wikipedia


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