Vol. 59, 2020
(update: 2020.06.15; 07.14)
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: E-mail: email@example.com (Qiu),
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Hu), email@example.com (Zhang),
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 that preys on 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, and exhibits excellent mimicry by matching the colour 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. A comparison of the mitochondrial COI and 16S rRNA genes and the
nuclear H3 gene between P.
fuscostriata sp. nov. and other Phestilla spp. found that their
interspecific distances are large enough to justify the recognition of
the new species.
Key words: Coral health,
Coral-eating, Corallivory, Phestilla,
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 59:30.
| Table S1 | Table S2