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You are here:   OldClasses > 2012 > Platydoris scabra | Tahsha Say



  Tahsha Say (2012)


Fact Sheet



Physical Description


Life History & Behaviour

My Experiment

Anatomy & Physiology

Evolution & Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

References & Links


Over evolutionary time, the nudibranch Platydoris scabra has relinquished the protective outer-shell covering that is frequently observed in other molluscs.  This ‘naked’ nudibranch has compensated for the loss of its shell by developing its characteristic, cryptic colouration consisting of  large, irregular, dark brown dorsal markings.  As part of the cryptic community on coral reefs, these unusual animals are often overlooked by potential predators and inquisitive reef walkers.  However, Platydoris scabra is well-known throughout the Indo-Pacific, and is the only species within its genus to have such an extensive habitat range. This webpage will review the biology, ecology, behaviour and evolution of this unique species.  Of particular interest is the behaviour of Platydoris scabraPlatydoris scabra are often observed to occur in aggregations or pairs.  Are these animals looking for mates? Or merely the company of a fellow gastropod? A short experiment investigated whether Platydoris scabra are more attracted to individuals of the same species, or to individuals of a different species. Chemoreception is the predominant sense employed by nudibranchs to perceive their environment.  This study also investigated whether chemoreception was the tool Platydoris scabra use to search and detect other individuals (for more information refer to My Experiment under the Life History and Behaviour link).