Order : NUDIBRANCHIA
Infra order : DORIDACEA
Superfamily : DORIDOIDEA
Family : Chromodorididae
Known from Japan, Okinawa and the Philippines. Here also a sighting in Indonesia
Hypselodoris purpureomaculosa Hamatani, 1995
It seems like every new species hitting the scientific literature these days has a story behind it. Hypselodoris purpureomaculosa is no different.
The community of taxonomists working on new species of opishtobranchs is larger than one might think. Although many researchers are in constant communications and know which each other is working on, many due to language barriers, hectic schedules and remoteness, seem to work as independent entities.
Terry Gosliner’s “Dream Team” of Branchers, collected H. purpureomaculosa in the late 1990’s in the Batangas Province of the Philippines. Terry and then grad student Rebecca Johnson had included a description of the species in their Hypselodorid monograph, published in 1999, which contains 12 new species. They had put many hours into careful dissections, morphological comparisons, cladistic analysis and arguments supporting the naming of these species. Little did they know, another, fellow taxonomist, Dr. Iwao Hamatani, of Japan, had been working on the same species, and in fact had submitted a manuscript with its description to the molluscan journal, The Venus. A little disappointed, but glad to avoid an embarrassment later, Terry and Rebecca dropped the description from their monograph. Saved in the nick of time, but a bummer. Hypselodoris purpureomaculosa is easy to ID, having a wide orange marginal band and large burgundy-purple spots or bands on the dorsum. The species reaches 35 mm in length and lives in the western Pacific from Indonesia and the Philippines, to the Solomon Islands and Japan.