Thorunna africana

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Thorunna africana
Thorunna africana (6139193367).jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Subclass: Heterobranchia
Infraclass: Euthyneura
Clade: Nudipleura
Order: Nudibranchia
Superfamily: Doridoidea
Family: Chromodorididae
Genus: Thorunna
Species:
T. africana
Binomial name
Thorunna africana
Rudman, 1984 [1]

Thorunna africana is a small species of sea slug, a dorid nudibranch, a shell-less marine gastropod mollusk in the family Chromodorididae. [2]

In biology, a species ( ) is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, morphology, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined. While these definitions may seem adequate, when looked at more closely they represent problematic species concepts. For example, the boundaries between closely related species become unclear with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, and in a ring species. Also, among organisms that reproduce only asexually, the concept of a reproductive species breaks down, and each clone is potentially a microspecies.

Sea slug group of marine invertebrates with varying levels of resemblance to terrestrial slugs

Sea slug is a common name for some marine invertebrates with varying levels of resemblance to terrestrial slugs. Most creatures known as sea slugs are actually gastropods, i.e. they are sea snails that over evolutionary time have either completely lost their shells, or have seemingly lost their shells due to having a greatly reduced or internal shell. The name "sea slug" is most often applied to nudibranchs, as well as to a paraphyletic set of other marine gastropods without obvious shells.

Nudibranch order of molluscs

Nudibranchs are a group of soft-bodied, marine gastropod molluscs which shed their shells after their larval stage. They are noted for their often extraordinary colours and striking forms, and they have been given colourful nicknames to match, such as "clown", "marigold", "splendid", "dancer", and "dragon". Currently, about 3,000 valid species of nudibranchs are known.

Contents

Distribution

This species was described from the Sudanese Red Sea and Tanzania with the type locality being Dar Es Salaam. [1] It has been reported from Madagascar [3] and the Andaman Islands. [4]

Red Sea Arm of the Indian Ocean between Arabia and Africa

The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. To the north lie the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez. The Red Sea is a Global 200 ecoregion. The sea is underlain by the Red Sea Rift which is part of the Great Rift Valley.

Tanzania country in Africa

Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a country in eastern Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; Comoro Islands at the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique and Malawi to the south; Zambia to the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in north-eastern Tanzania.

Madagascar island nation off the coast of Southeast Africa, in the Indian Ocean

Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar, and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian subcontinent around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population and other environmental threats.

Description

This is a small nudibranch, growing to 25 mm (0.98 in). It is white in colour with a yellow, ruffled, margin to the mantle. The gills and rhinophores are white with bright red lines.

Ecology

Thorunna africana feeds on sponges of the genus Dysidea. [3]

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References

  1. 1 2 Rudman, W.B. (1984). The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: a review of the genera. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 81(2): 115-273, page 220.
  2. MolluscaBase (2018). Thorunna africana Rudman, 1984. Accessed on 2018-12-23.
  3. 1 2 Bidgrain, P. Thorunna africana South-west Indian Ocean Seaslug site, accessed 2018-12-23.
  4. Rudman, W.B., 1998 (November 11) Thorunna africana Rudman, 1984. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney.