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Paralcyonium spinulosum

Delle Chiaje, 1822

João Pedro Silva Adults of this species are usually found at depths of well over 30m but in the Farilhões islets, part of the archipelago of Berlengas, Portugal, there's a particular wall where they are often seen just under 20m. They feed on a wide variety of soft coral but this was the first time they were documented feeding on Paralcyonium spinulosum. Juveniles are almost transparent but are often found at shallower depths.

Ron Silver nice

Message posted on Scubashooters.net on 25 May 2013
João Pedro Silva Feeding habits: Marionia blainvillea feeding on Paralcyonium spinulosum. This was a very large adult (~7cm long) shot last October (water was 18ºC) in Farilhões (a group of small islets approximately 15km northwest of Peniche, Portugal), 25m deep. This spot has a vertical rock wall descending to -30m and some areas are densely covered with Paramuricea clavata. This individual was shot close to the gorgonians but it was very keen on eating Paralcyonium spinulosum instead. The gorgonians in this area often have the large egg masses and sometimes the small whitish translucent juveniles can also be found there. I wonder if any of you has already found M. blainvillea feeding on P. spinulosum.

João Pedro Silva Here's a video of this spot (Rabo de Asno... literally "Donkey's Tail", don't ask me why) by one of the local dive centers. It gives you a better idea of how the wall is covered by Paramuricea clavata: http://youtu.be/ws14mzy4_g0

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 03 Feb 2012
João Pedro Silva A very large (7cm long) Marionia blainvillea feeding on Paralcyonium spinulosum. Lots of Paramuricea clavata around, lots of juveniles there, too... maybe this one was just getting a dessert.

Message posted on NUDIBRANCH LOVERS on 06 May 2012
João Pedro Silva A strange association: 'Felimida' luteorosea crawling (for about an hour...) all over Myriapora truncata.

João Pedro Silva Even stranger, less than 1m away, another one doing the same: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpsilva1971/7651839804/ Coincidence? Possibly...

Joanne Porter Do you think the slug is laying eggs on the Myriapora?

João Pedro Silva I followed it for about 60 minutes and it wasn't laying eggs, at least not at that time. It was crawling around the "branches" of the bryozoan but not turning left like it does typically while spawning. To make this even more mysterious, less than 50cm away there was a smaller one doing the same: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpsilva1971/7651839804/ The eggs seen in this 2nd photo do not appear to be from F. luteorosea.

Tony Gilbert Interesting shot Joao. Are you compiling a list of food preferences for the Portuguese nudibranchs?

João Pedro Silva Food is well known for most of our species, so I haven't thought about doing a more serious compilation. Apart from putting the photos with animals feeding on a specific set on Flickr (when it's obvious they're feeding) or mentioning what kind of animals they prey upon I'm not doing such a list. There is a global compilation however based on published literature: http://www.theveliger.org/nudibranch_food.html Some older references have either misidentified the prey or just mention the animal was found on so and so (and jump to the conclusion it was feeding upon that particular animal, like these F. luteorosea on M. truncata). For a few species food is still a bit of a mystery.

João Pedro Silva Here's my "Feeding" set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpsilva1971/sets/72157626595504483/ It includes a couple of photos of Marionia blainvillea eating Paralcyonium spinulosum (I actually saw the slug biting large chunks from the top of the colonies) which I think was not documented yet.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 27 Jul 2012
Animalia (Kingdom)
  Cnidaria (Phylum)
    Anthozoa (Class)
      Octocorallia (Subclass)
        Alcyonacea (Order)
          Alcyoniina (Suborder)
            Paralcyoniidae (Family)
              Paralcyonium (Genus)
                Paralcyonium spinulosum (Species)
Associated Species