Vol. 59, 2020
A New Species of Predatory
Nudibranch (Gastropoda: Trinchesiidae) of the Coral Pavona decussata
Hu1, Yanjie Zhang1,2, James Yang Xie1,
and Jian-Wen Qiu1,2,*
of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, 224 Waterloo Road, Kowloon,
Hong Kong, China. *Correspondence: Tel: +852-34117055. E-mail:
2Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong
Laboratory (Guangzhou), 511458, China
(Received 9 January 2020 / Accepted 5
Communicated by Benny K.K. Chan
nudibranchs are predators of scleractinian corals, but little is known
about their diversity. Here we describe Phestilla fuscostriata sp. nov.,
the first species of nudibranch predator of Pavona decussata, a structure
forming agariciid species in the South China Sea. This new species has
a white body with brown pigmentation on the dorsum and cerata, which
exhibits excellent mimicry against the color of its coral host. The
nudibranch lays crescent-shaped egg masses on the coral surface where
the embryos develop and hatch in 2–3 weeks. This new species possesses
a large number of cerata that are arranged in widely-spaced rows with
each row having one dorsal ceras and zero to several ventral cerata,
which distinguishes it from all other congeneric species. Comparing the
mitochondrial COI and 16S
rRNA genes and the nuclear H3 gene between P. fuscostriata sp. nov. and other Phestilla spp. indicates that their
interspecific distances are large enough to justify the recognition of
the new species.
Key words: Coral health,
Coral-eating, Corallivory, Phestilla, Molecular phylogeny.
Citation: Hu J. Zhang Y, Xie JY, Qiu JW.
2020. A new species of predatory nudibranch (Gastropoda: Trinchesiidae)
of the coral Pavona decussata.
Zool Stud 59:0dd. doi:-.
| Table S1 | Table S2