Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 Coryphella browni has a narrow foot and white translucent body with up to eight clusters of cerata present on its dorsal surface arranged in transverse rows. The cerata have a broad white pigment ring just below the tip and contain red or chocolate- brown digestive glands, depending on the species diet or local conditions. The inner cerata are longer than the outer, with the first two groups clearly separated from the rest. The head bares a pair of long pointed oral tentacles and two blunt wrinkled rhinophores. Tips of the oral tentacles, rhinophores and tail also contain a broad white pigment streak. There are two pointed propodial tentacles at the front corners of the foot, characteristic of all Flabellinid sea slugs."Coryphella" actually means 'little headed' in Latin. Its white egg masses are laid in a wavy spiral amongst or near to the stems of Tubularia indivisa, on which this species primarily feeds. Coryphella browni ingests the nematocysts (defensive stinging cells) of the hydroid and deposits them in the cerata tips, via the digestive gland, for defense against predators. This species may also be found feeding on Tubularia indivisia in mixed populations with Coryphella lineata, yet there are no known indications of interbreeding between the two species (Picton, 1980). Coryphella lineata differs mainily in having white longitudinal lines down the sides and back of the body, and white dashes on the cerata, unlike Coryphella browni which do not. Coryphella browni was described as new to science in the 1980 and was named after Greg Brown.
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Description

The body is translucent white in colour with patches of opaque white pigment on the tips of the long, pointed oral tentacles, smooth rhinophores and tail. The cerata are filled with red or red-brown digestive gland, and have a broad ring of white pigment below the tip. There are conspicuous pointed propodial tentacles at the front corners of the foot in all Flabellinids. Typically about 20mm-30mm in length, but well-fed individuals may be larger.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Distribution

Found throughout the British Isles, and as far north as Iceland. Recorded from the Atlantic coast of France, but confusion with other species makes new records valuable.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 23 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1 sample.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 39
  Temperature range (°C): 11.377 - 11.377
  Nitrate (umol/L): 5.111 - 5.111
  Salinity (PPS): 35.213 - 35.213
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.233 - 6.233
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.412 - 0.412
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.440 - 2.440

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 39
 
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 This species can be found in large numbers feeding on the polyps of Tubularia indivisa. It may also be found feeding on Eudendrium spp and the solitary hydroid Corymorphia nutans. It is common in spring and early summer in shallow water as well as deeper water exposed to tidal streams.
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A common species in spring and early summer in shallow exposed sites and deeper water which is exposed to tidal streams. The normal food is the hydroid Tubularia indivisa but other hydroids are sometimes eaten, such as Eudendrium spp. and the solitary hydroid Corymorpha nutans The spawn consists of a thread which is laid in a wavy spiral.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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