Fahey and Gosliner, 2004
Hawaii, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
Upper right: Aegires exeches. HOLOTYPE: CASIZ 078629, 4 mm, Hekili Point, Maui, Hawaii, 1 m, collected May 1991, C. Pittman. Photo: P. Fiene. Lower photos: SEM of Radula. Scale bar = 20µm. Photos from Fahey & Gosliner (2004).
The dorsum is covered completely with numerous, compound tubercles that are elongate and narrow slightly before mushrooming into flattened plate-like tops. The background color ranges from white to tan-white. The tops of the tubercles on the tan specimens only have dark spots. The rhinophore pockets are very long and composed of two main tubercles on the anterior side, two shorter tubercles on the posterior side and much smaller tubercles in between. The rhinophores are unusual for Aegires in that they have bifid apices. The gill protective appendages are also composed of elaborate tubercles. The gill leaves are very small and inconspicuous. Specimens range from 2–4 mm in length.
Externally, A. exeches most closely resembles A. punctilucens (d'Orbigny, 1837) from the Mediterranean. However, there are both external and internal differences that separate these two species. Externally, the most obvious differences are the body shape, the rhinophoral apices, the gill protective structure morphology and the tubercle arrangement. The body shape of A. exeches is very elongate with extremely elevated, mushroom shaped tubercles that have a flattened crown and completely cover the dorsum. The rhinophores of this species have bifid apices. The gill protective structure is very elaborate and lobed. None of these features are shared with A. punctilucens.
- Fahey, S. J. & Gosliner, T. M. (2004) A Phylogenetic Analysis of the Aegiridae Fischer, 1883 (Mollusca, Nudibranchia, Phanerobranchia) with Descriptions of Eight New Species and a Reassessment of Phanerobranch Relationships. Proceedings of the CaliforniaAcademy of Sciences, 55, (34): 613–689, 82 figs., 4 tables (Appendix).
Fahey, S. J. & Gosliner, T. M., 2005 (July 5) Aegires exeches Fahey and Gosliner, 2004. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/aegiexec
Nudibranch from intertidal seaweed
From: T. Joan Hales, April 9, 2007