Armina californica (Cooper, 1863)
Common name(s): California armina
|Synonyms: Pleurophyllidia californica|
|Armina californica, 6.5 cm long, from 6m depth in Burrows Bay. Photo taken at Shannon Point Marine Station|
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles August 2006)|
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: This species is very distinctive. No other local species has the combination of the anus on the right side, longitudinal white ridges on the dorsum, and no cerata.
Geographical Range: Gulf of Alaska to Panama
Depth Range: Mostly subtidal, 1 to 230 m
Habitat: Sandy bottoms
Biology/Natural History: This species eats sea pens such as Ptilosarcus gurneyi. (or on sea pansies such as Renilla kollikeri farther south where those grow). May be largely buried in the sand with primarily the rhinophores projecting above the surface of the sand. Eggs are laid in a pale pinkish-brown spiral chain of capsules.
According to Baltzley et al., (2011), many gastropods, including this species, have a special network of pedal ganglia in their foot which assists in crawling. The two main neurons involved produce pedal peptides which elicit an increase in the rate of beating of cilia on the foot, resulting in crawling.
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McDonald and Nybakken, 1980
Morris et al., 1980
Ricketts et al., 1985
Baltzley, Michael J., Allison Serman, Shaun D. Cain, and Kenneth J. Lohmann, 2011. Conservation of a Tritonia pedal peptides network in gastropods. Invertebrate Biology 130: 4 pp. 313-324
This species has a deep groove along the sides between the wide flap of the dorsum and the wide flap of the foot. Here the groove on the left side can be clearly seen as the animal turns.
This species has its anus on a prominent papilla on the right side, in a groove between the flaps of the dorsum and the foot. The view above shows the groove on the right side of the animal, with the anus to the left (posterior) and the gonopore to the right (anterior)
This species can crawl upside-down along the surface film of the water, as shown by this individual crawling along the surface film of
one of our seawater tanks, about 20 cm above another individual crawling along the bottom. Photo by Dave Cowles, August 2015