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

Nudibranch in the genus Phestilla are usually predators of hard corals, but their diversity may have been underestimated and their impact on coral health is largely unknown. Hu et al. (2020) described Phestilla goniophaga sp. nov., the first named predatory nudibranch species of the stony corals from the genus Goniopora. The new species is characterized by a large number of long cerata, a white rounded hump on the notum, and bright orange egg masses forming a coiled ribbon. Although currently only known from Hong Kong, this species should have a wide distribution in the West Pacific, given its association with the common coral genus Goniopora.

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