Acanthodoris lutea

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Orange-peel doris
Acanthodoris lutea in california tide pools 2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia

clade Euthyneura
clade Nudipleura
clade Nudibranchia
clade Euctenidiacea
clade Doridacea

Superfamily: Onchidoridoidea
Family: Onchidorididae
Genus: Acanthodoris
Species: A. lutea
Binomial name
Acanthodoris lutea
MacFarland, 1925[1]

Acanthodoris lutea, the orange-peel doris, is a species of nudibranch or sea slug, a shell-less marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusk in the family Onchidorididae.[2]

This species is the largest of the northeastern Pacific onchidorids.[3] It is a common species, and it is very noticeable because of its bright coloration, which is aposematic. The species name "lutea" is a Latin word which means an orange-yellow color. The generic name, "acantho" comes from the Greek word meaning spiny, and "doris" is the name of an ancient Greek sea nymph.

Description[edit]

Acanthodoris lutea
Acanthodoris lutea

This nudibranch grows to about 30 cm in length. It has a bright orange papillated dorsum covered with yellow specks. As is the case with many nudibranchs, this bright coloration is thought to be a reminder to would-be predators of its distasteful nature, an example of aposematic coloration. When handled, these slugs often smell of sandalwood.[3]

Distribution[edit]

This dorid nudibranch was described from Cayucos, San Luis Obispo County, California. It lives on the Pacific coast of North America from Cape Arago, Oregon to northern Baja California, Mexico.[4] Specimens from Duxbury Reef, Marin County, California and Puget Sound, Kitsap County, Washington have been sequenced for the 16S ribosomal RNA, Histone H3 and CO1 genes.[5][6]

Habitat[edit]

The orange-peel doris lives in the intertidal and subtidal zones on rocky shores.

Life habits[edit]

Acanthodoris lutea in a California tide pool laying eggs

Acanthodoris lutea feeds on bryozoans of the genus Alcyonidium. It turns the chemicals taken from the bryozoan food into a noxious metabolite which is toxic to possible predators.[7] This species is aposematically colored, warning predators of this toxic deterrent.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ MacFarland, F. M. 1925. The Acanthodorididae of the California coast. Nautilus 39(2):49-65, pls. 2-3, page 60.
  2. ^ Bouchet, P. (2015). Acanthodoris lutea MacFarland, 1925. In: MolluscaBase (2015). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species on 2016-01-09
  3. ^ a b Behrens D.W., 1980, Pacific Coast Nudibranchs: a guide to the opisthobranchs of the northeastern Pacific, Sea Challenger Books, Washington, 112pp., p. 48.
  4. ^ Goddard, J., 2003 (January 12) Acanthodoris lutea MacFarland, 1925. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney.
  5. ^ Hallas, JM and Gosliner, TM. (2015) Family Matters: the first molecular phylogeny of the Onchidorididae (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Nudibranchia). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 88: 16-27.
  6. ^ Hallas, J.M., Simison, W.B. & Gosliner, T.M. (2016) Dating and biogeographical patterns in the sea slug genus Acanthodoris Gray, 1850 (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Nudibranchia). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 97: 19-31.
  7. ^ Morris, R.H., D.P. Abbott & E.C. Haderlie (1980) Intertidal Invertebrates of California. Stanford University Press: Stanford, California.
  8. ^ Behrens, D. W. (2003) Acanthodoris lutea. In: Miller, M. (2015) The Slug Site.