Tenellia minor    (Rudman, 1981)

Version française...

This species has been observed on Reunion Island

Order : Nudibranchia
Sous ordre : Dexiarchia
Super famille : Fionoidea
Famille : Fionidae
Distribution : Indo Pacific
Maximal size : 9 mm
Abundance : Seldom if ever...

Species characteristics :

It has cerata with a swollen distal tip and 1 swollen collar region below

There is one colour form with very little epidermal pigmentation, and another form which is heavily pigmented opaque white like our specimen...

Phestilla minor
Showing species characteristics...

Photo Jean-Philippe Chartier
Reunion, Etang Salé, on the rocky coast, 9 February 2015, size : 10 mm

See more about : Sightening and mating periods

Remarks :

Identification confirmed by Nathalie Yonow
    Synonymous : (according Worms)
               - Phestilla minor Rudman, 1981

Bibliographic data :

This small species, seldom more than 7mm long, is always found associated with colonies of the coral Porites, on which it feeds.
    There is one colour form with very little epidermal pigmentation which well matches the colour of the coral colony, and another form which is heavily pigmented opaque white, which matches the shape and colour of small abrasions, probably fish feeding scars, which are found scattered over Porites colonies
    Rudman showed that T. minor grows rapidly (2 to 9 mm in ten days) and starts egg-laying at between 6-9mm. Animals tend to form pairs, and produce about 10 egg masses, each mass having about 120 eggs. The oval egg mass are either straight or curved in the shape of a semicircle.
    Its eggs are usually laid alongside the coral colonies

References :

Bill Rudman Seaslug site : Sea Slug Forum : Phestilla minor
   Nudipixel Phestilla minor

Publications :

Cella, K; Carmona Barnosi, L.; Ekimova, I; Chichvarkhin, A; Schepetov, D; Gosliner, T. M. (2016). A radical solution: The phylogeny of the nudibranch family Fionidae. PLoS ONE. 11(12): e0167800
    Rudman, W.B. (1981a) Further studies on the anatomy and ecology of opisthobranch molluscs feeding on the scleractinian coral Porites . Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 71 : 373-412

Other photos of Tenellia minor :

Sébastien Vasquez

Réunion, Etang-Salé on the rocky coast, during the night, 28 novembre 2015


3 matings and numerous spawns



More photos from Indian Ocean

If you have taken a photo of this species in Sud West Indian Ocean, please Contact us...