) Syphonota geographica ( Adams & Reeve, 1850 ) from indian ocean madagascar
Syphonota geographica   (Adams & Reeve, 1850)

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This species has been observed on Mauritius and Madagascar Islands


Order : Anaspidea
Superfamily : Aplysioidea
Family : Aplysiidae
Distribution : Circum tropical and Mediterranean.
Maximal size : 100 mm
Abundance : Seldom if ever on the fore reef zone


Species characteristics :

This seahare is beautifully colored with elaborated and variable patterns of green and white.

In Syphonota the rhinophores are close together and located farther back on the body between the parapodial lobes.

syphonota geographica
Showing species characteristics...

Photo Alain-Benoît Rassat
Madagascar, Olaf, Nosy bé, 22 m, 12 September 2013, size : 35 mm

See more about : Sightening and mating periods

Remarks :

Identification confirmed by Nathalie Yonow
    Synonymous : (according Bill Rudman and Worms)
           - Aplysia geographica (Adams & Reeve, 1850)
           - Aplysia scripta Bergh, 1905
           - Paraplysia geographica (Adams & Reeve, 1850)
           - Paraplysia piperata (Smith, 1884)
           - Siphonotus geographicus Adams & Reeve, 1850

Bibliographic data :

After mating, the species lays a light salmon colored egg mass comprised of loosely tangles strings of egg bundles.
    This species differs from members of the genus Aplysia by the position of the rhinophores. In Syphonota they are close together and located farther back on the body between the parapodial lobes.
    Like other Aplysiids they are good swimmer propelled through the water by flapping their parapodia.
    Even more interesting is scientifc paper (Gavagnin and al, 2007) which reports on the secondary metabolites found in Syphonota, including one molecule that suggested that  Syphonota geographica feeds on the sea grass Halophila stipulacea.
    They have been observed to burrow into mud and silt bottoms. The exact reason of the behavior is unknown as these algal grazers certainly are not feeding while buried. We can speculate that the behavior might provide cover from predators, protection from drying out at low tide or even a way to anchor themselves during periods of high tidal currents.
    Syphonota geographica is a species from the Indo-West Pacific which has apparently made it through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean- another lessepsian migrant. The term lessepsian , is derived from Ferdinand De Lesseps who designed and led the team that built the Suez Canal, thus linking the Red Sea with the Mediterranean. Lessepsian migration refers to species which have entered the Mediterranean, from the Red Sea, through the Suez Canal. Some of these introductions seem to be permanent, some short-lived.

References :

Bill Rudman Seaslug site : Sea Slug Forum : Syphonota geographica
   Nudipixel Syphonota geographica

Publications :

Adams, A. & Reeve, L. (1850). Mollusca, Part 3. In: Adams, A.(Ed.), The zoology of the voyage of the H.M.S. Samarang; under the command of Captain Sir Edward Belcher, C.B., F.R.A.S., F.G.S., during the years 1843-1846 . pp. 45-87, Pls 17-24. Reeve, Benham & Reeve: London
    M. Gavagnin, M. Carbone, P. Amodeo, E. Mollo, R. M. Vitale, V. Roussis and G. Cimino. (2007) Structure and absolute stereochemistry of syphonoside: a unique macrocyclic glycoterpenoid from marine organisms.   J. Org. Chem ., 72: 5625-5630
    Mollo E., Gavagnin M., Carbone M., Castelluccio F., Pozone F., Roussis V., Templado J., Ghiselin M.T. & Cimino G., 2008: Factors promoting marine invasions: A chemoecological approach, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 105(12): 45824586 

Other photos of Syphonota geographica :


Alain-Benoît Rassat

Madagascar, Olaf, Nosy bé, 22 m, 12 September 2013, size : 35 mm

 

Syphonota geographica feeds on the sea grass Halophila stipulacea (a)


Alain-Benoît Rassat

Madagascar, Tanikely, Nosy bé, 6 m, 4 November 2014


Geoffrey Summers

Mauritius, less 1 m, during the night, 4 February 2015

Parapodia open....

In Syphonota the rhinophores (a) are close together and located farther back on the body between the parapodial lobes.


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