No common name

Pseudoceros ferrugineus

ORDER Polycladida

FAMILY

Pseudoceridae

TAXONOMY

Pseudoceros ferrugineus Hyman 1959 Palau, Indonesia.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Elongate worm 0.7 in long by 0.4 in wide (18 mm long by 11 mm wide); may get larger. Two slightly developed nuchal tentacles. Body is deep red with white flecks or dots centrally located; yellowish band around the margin with deeper shades of purple between margin and central area with flecks. This genus is speciose on coral reefs and colors vary considerably between species ranging from bright pink and orange to blue and green.

DISTRIBUTION

Tropical coral reefs in South Africa, Red Sea, Indo-Pacific, and Hawaii.

HABITAT

Coral reefs often under rubble.

BEHAVIOR

Displays aposematic coloration to prevent predation. FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Many species of the genus Pseudoceros, including P. ferrugineus, feed on colonial tunicates.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Hermaphroditic, eggs hatch as Muller's larva that will settle out in a few days and metamorphose into a juvenile resembling the adult.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Aesthetic value for scuba divers. ♦

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