Clione limacina

(Phipps, 1774)

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Clione limacina from Norway
Identification verified by Richard Willan

Identification is verified by Richard Willan, Nudi Pixel expert

Comment from Richard Willan: This is a marvellous photo of this permanently planktonic opisthobranch belonging to the order Gymnosomata. It’s common name is a sea goddess. It would be invisible in the water were it not for the bright orange-red colour of the structures inside the head, the digestive gland and pigment cap at the tip of the body cone. Within the large head are stored six extensible tentacles and two bundles of feeding hooks. Clione feeds selectively on thecomomes (sea butterflies), particularly those belonging to the genus Limacina. This explains the origin of the specific name “limacina”.

Gymnosomes are, as Professor John Morton said in his book Molluscs “a law unto themselves” with an entirely different body plan to all other opisthobranchs. They are active predators. Because there are vast swarms of sea butterflies in the ocean, gymnosomes have become very specialised. As Dr J. Sherman Bleakney remarked in 1996: “In a way Clione limacina has it made, but how much time must it spend glancing over its shoulder on the lookout a competing specialist – a baleen whale?”

Photographer:Vidar Aas
Camera:Unknown Unknown › View EXIF properties
Taken on:January 29, 2011
Viewed:527 times
Posted:5 years ago
Updated:5 years ago

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Other photos of Clione limacina

Clione limacina from Norway
Location: Norway
Updated 5 years ago
Viewed 788 times

Scientific Classification

Species:Clione limacina