Molluscan ResearchISSN 1323-5818
 An international journal of the Malacological Society of Australasia and 
the Society for the Study of Molluscan Diversity published by Magnolia Press

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Molluscan Research 30(2): 73-80; published 30 Jul. 2010
Copyright © The Malacological Society of Australasia & the Society for the Study of Molluscan Diversity

Differentiation according to body region and interspecific variation in the morphology of integumentary spicules of nudibranchs


1 Institute of Marine Biology, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan.

2 Kuroshio Research Group, Asia-Pacific Ocean Research Center, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan.

* Corresponding author: Email:


Based on an examination of 41 dorid nudibranch species (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia: Anthobranchia: Doridina) we report the existence of intra-individual variation in the distribution of different spicule types in various parts of the integument of nudibranchs. Interspecific variation in spicule morphology is also described and compared. Twelve species of the family Phyllidiidae were examined and all possessed spicules. Phyllidiid spicules showed considerable morphological diversity, and particular spicule types were localised in specific parts of the body, in contrast to all the other families. Of the 19 species of the Chromodorididae examined, only Cadlinella ornatissima (Risbec, 1928) contained spicules. Of the remaining species from other families, only the discodorids Halgerda rubicunda Baba, 1949 and Platydoris formosa (Alder & Hancock, 1864), the dorid Aldisa albatrossae Elwood et. al., 2000, and the hexabranchid Hexabranchus sanguineus (Rüppell & Leuckart, 1830) possessed spicules.

Key words: diactines, triactines, tetractines, scanning electron microscope, Nudibranchia, Doridina, Phyllidiidae 

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