Zoological Studies

Vol. 59, 2020

(update: 2020.10.29; 11.23)

A New Species of Predatory Nudibranch (Gastropoda: Trinchesiidae) of the Scleractinian Coral Goniopora

Juntong Hu1, Yanjie Zhang1,2, Sam King Fung Yiu1, James Yang Xie3, and Jian-Wen Qiu1,2,*


1Department of Biology and Hong Kong Branch of the Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou), Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China. *Correspondence: E-mail: qiujw@hkbu.edu.hk (Qiu). Phone: +852-34117055.
E-mail: 18481930@life.hkbu.edu.hk (Hu); yanjiezhang@hkbu.edu.hk (Zhang); 20482205@life.hkbu.edu.hk (Yiu)
2HKBU Institute of Research and Continuing Education, Virtual University Park, Shenzhen, China
3Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Hong Kong SAR Government, China. E-mail: james_y_xie@afcd.gov.hk (Xie)

Received 18 July 2020 / Accepted 22 October 2020
Communicated by Benny K.K. Chan

Members of the nudibranch genus Phestilla are common predators of scleractinian corals, but currently this genus has 10 described species only. Here we describe Phestilla goniophaga sp. nov., the first formally named predatory nudibranch species of the stony corals from the genus Goniopora. The new species can be distinguished from its congeneric species by the large number of long cerata (up to 16 rows and 23 cerata per row), and white rounded hump on the notum. The hump resembles the mouth of the coral poly, while the cerata resemble the coral tentacles. The egg masses of P. goniophaga sp. nov. are unique among Phestilla spp. egg masses in being bright orange in color, and forming a coiled ribbon. Analysis of the COI, 16S rRNA and H3 genes of P. goniophaga sp. nov. also showed that this species is distinct from other congeneric species.

Key words: Coral, Coral-eating, Corallivory, Mollusca, Phestilla.

Citation: Hu J, Zhang Y, Yiu SKF, Xie JY, Qiu JW. 2020. A new species of predatory nudibranch (Gastropoda: Trinchesiidae) of the scleractinian coral Goniopora. Zool Stud 59:62. doi:10.6620/ZS.2020.59-62.

Supplementary Materials: Table S1 | Table S2