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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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©  The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Source: Marine Life Information Network

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