Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 Rostanga rubra is usually bright scarlet in colour and up to 2 cm in length. The body is domed and warty.The deep red coloration is derived from the red sponges Microciona atrasanguinea and Ophlitaspongia papilla on which it feeds. There may be scattered black spots dorsally and a characteristic yellowish patch between the rhinopores. Two finger-like oral tentacles project from the sides of the head. The mantle bears many short, blunt tubercles dorsally, together with defensive spicules. Up to ten simple pinnate gills may be present in a tight circle, which retract into a deep pocket or cup.Spawns in June and July.
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Description

The colour of this nudibranch varies from bright red to pale orange-yellow with tiny black spots scattered on its dorsum. The mantle bears many minute tubercles and defensive spicules. There is a characteristic pale patch between the rhinophores. Adults may attain a body length of up to 15mm. Unlikely to be confused with other British dorids except perhaps with the red variety of Archidoris pseudoargus.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Distribution

R. rubra has been found around the Orkneys and at St. Abbs Head on the North Sea coast as well as on the south and west coasts of the British Isles. Further distribution from Norway south to the Mediterranean.
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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 5 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 31

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 31
 
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 This conspicuous species feeds on red sponges e.g. Microciona atrasanguinea and lives in shallow water. It occurs on the lower shore and shallow sub-littoral on rocky coasts.
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Feeds upon the red sponge Ophlitaspongia seriata. It is most often found on the low shore or in the shallow subtidal. At St. Kilda it feeds on a different species of Ophlitaspongia in the sublittoral.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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