Ola Khalaf's Nudibranch (Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017)

Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017 : A New Dorid Nudibranch Sea Slug Species from the Sea of Khorfakkan, Gulf of Oman, Arab Sea, Indian Ocean 

 ديافورودوريس عُلا خلف خلف ، 2017 : نوع جديد من بُزاق البحر عاري الخياشيم من بحر خورفكان ، خليج عُمان ، بحر العرب ، المُحيط الهندي

By : Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Mohammad Ahmad Mostafa Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa & Ola Mostafa Esmail Mostafa Khalaf

Article Reference Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Mohammad Ahmad Mostafa & Ola Mostafa Esmail Mostafa Khalaf (2017). Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017 : A New Dorid Nudibranch Sea Slug Species from the Sea of Khorfakkan, Gulf of Oman, Arab Sea, Indian Ocean. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. ISSN 0178 – 6288. Number 149, May 2017, pp. 31-47. Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. http://marine-life-uae.webs.com/diaphorodoris-olakhalafi

The new species: Ola Khalaf’s Nudibranch (Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017). Photo by Brian Meredith. 25 January 2014. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152224265669085&set=pb.596509084.-2207520000.1493270116.&type=3&theater

Abstract: 

A new species of the Nudibranch genus Diaphorodoris (Nudibranchia: Onchidorididae) from the Sea of Khorfakkan, Gulf of Oman, Arab Sea, Indian Ocean is described. This species is distinguished from the other Diaphorodoris species living in the Gulf of Oman and Indo-Pacific Region by its distinctive body form and colouration and the smaller size. It is morphologically and geographically distinct from the other nudibranch species. The new species was named Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017.

Keywords: 

Gastropoda, Nudibranchia, Onchidorididae, Diaphorodoris olakhalafi, New Species, Nudibranch, Dorid Nudibranch, Sea Slug, Khorfakkan White Dorid Nudibranch, Ola Khalaf’s Nudibranch, Sea of Khorfakkan, Emirate of Sharjah, Khorfakkan, Fujairah, Musandam, United Arab Emirates, Sultanate of Oman, Gulf of Oman, Arab Sea, Indian Ocean, Near East, Middle East.

The new species: Ola Khalaf’s Nudibranch (Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017) from the car cemetery ground in Khorfakkan Sea, in a depth of 15 meter, and water temperature of 23 Celsius. Nudibranch size 5 mm. Photo by Gordon T. Smith (Searcaigh). 03 February 2012. http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=963

Introduction

On Friday 31.03.2017, my wife the PADI Dive Instructor Ola Mostafa Khalaf managed to shoot a photo of an unknown white Nudibranch from the Car Cemetery Sea Ground, 19 meter deep in the Sea of Khorfakkan, Gulf of Oman, Arab Sea, Indian Ocean. This photo (page 35) triggered our search for its identification. We examined zoological reference books and the internet searching for its identity. We found very few photos on the internet without species identification. This species was not scientifically described and was not named. 

The closest genus for our new species was Diaphorodoris. We compared between different Diaphorodoris species living in the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic region like: Diaphorodoris luteocincta M. Sars, 1870; Diaphorodoris mitsuii Baba, 1938; Diaphorodoris lirulatocauda Millen, 1985; Diaphorodoris papillata Portmann & Sandmeier, 1960 and Diaphorodoris alba Portmann & Sandmeier, 1960.

The new species: Ola Khalaf’s Nudibranch (Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017) from the car cemetery ground in Khorfakkan Sea, in a depth of 15 meter, and water temperature of 23 Celsius. Nudibranch size 5 mm. Photo by Gordon T. Smith (Searcaigh). 18 February 2012. http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=963

Description and Distinctive Features

Length of Diaphorodoris olakhalafi is about 5 mm. General body-colour is white. Body elongate-elliptical, bluntly rounded at both ends. The white mantle is ovate with the posterior end of the foot extending behind the end of the mantle. Foot produced behind in a fairly long tail, the anterior end abruptly rounded and simply labiate. The mantle is covered sparsely with small conical tubercles and the five or six gills are attached in a common pocket. The colour of the conical tubercles is white or yellow. Oral tentacles broad lobiform, with a slit-like mouth between them. The gills and rhinophores are orange-red. Rhinophore-sheath with smooth margin. Branchial plumes 5 - 6, small, simply pinnate, completely retractile within a cavity with smooth margin. Integument with spicules. There is a distinctive yellow band at the edge of both the mantle and the foot.


Size

Diaphorodoris olakhalafi grows to about 5 mm long.

The new species: Ola Khalaf’s Nudibranch (Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017) from the car cemetery ground in Khorfakkan Sea, in a depth of 15 meter, and water temperature of 23 Celsius. Nudibranch size 5 mm. Photo by Gordon T. Smith (Searcaigh). 18 February 2012. http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=963

Diet

This species feeds on encrusting colonial bryozoans.

Habitat

Diaphorodoris olakhalafi was found in sea water in a depth between 2 – 20 meters.

Distribution

The species Diaphorodoris olakhalafi was found living in Khorfakkan Sea, eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates, and the eastern coast of the Musandam Sea, Sultanate of Oman, Gulf of Oman, Arab Sea, Indian Ocean.

Conservation

The species Diaphorodoris olakhalafi is endemic to the Gulf of Oman region. This species is rare and must be protected.

This photo triggered the search for the new species: The Ola Khalaf’s Nudibranch (Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017) from the car cemetery ground in Khorfakkan Sea, in a depth of 19 meter. Photo by Ola Mostafa Khalaf. 31.03.2017. http://marine-life-uae.webs.com/diaphorodoris-olakhalafi

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Mollusca Class: Gastropoda Subclass: Opisthobranchia Order: Nudibranchia Suborder: Doridina Superfamily: Anadoridoidea Family: Onchidorididae Genus: Diaphorodoris Species: Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017

Etymology / Derivation of the Scientific Name

The scientific name Diaphorodoris: Diaphanous Doris. From Medieval Latin diaphanus, from Greek diaphanēs, from dia ‘through’ + phainein ‘to show’. Doris in Greek mythology, wife of Nereo, nymph of the waters and mother of Nereids.; and olakhalafi is Latin for my wife the Diver and Underwater Photographer “Ola Khalaf” (born 1975).

This new Khorfakkan Nudibranch species was classified and named by the Palestinian-German Zoologist Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa in May 2017, and the specific name ‘olakhalafi’ was named after his beloved wife “Ola Mostafa Esmail Mostafa Khalaf” (born in Sidon, Lebanon in 1975).

My beloved wife is an active diver and PADI Dive Instructor and is a professional underwater photographer. Diving is her main hobby and passion. She photographed and published many of her underwater photos, and she is contributing to our knowledge of the magnificent creatures living in our seas and oceans. The naming of this new species is a special gift after 20 years of marriage.

No bigger than a grain of rice !. The new species: Ola Khalaf’s Nudibranch (Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017) from Musandam Sea, Gulf of Oman. Photo by Brian Meredith. 2 March 2014. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152299317734085&set=pb.596509084.-2207520000.1493269902.&type=3&theater

Conclusion:

After examining the new white Dorid Nudibranch species living in the Sea of Khorfakkan, and referring to many zoological references, and searching the Internet, I came finally to a conclusion that we are in front of a new Nudibranch species from the Gulf of Oman, Arab Sea, Indian Ocean.

I gave it the scientific name Diaphorodoris olakhalafi, new species. The species name “olakhalafi” is Latin for my wife “Ola Khalaf” (born in 1975).


Diaphorodoris olakhalafi, new species:

Scientific binomial name: Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017.

Authority: Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa.

Common Names: Khorfakkan White Dorid Nudibranch, Ola Khalaf’s Nudibranch.

Holotype: Ddok-1, 5 mm., Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Khalaf-von Jaffa’s Collection.

Location: Sea of Khorfakkan, Emirate of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Date of capture: 31st March, 2017.

The new species: Ola Khalaf’s Nudibranch (Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017). Photo by Captain Abdulla Al Mehairi (Instagram: Nudibranchhunter). 12 March 2017. https://www.instagram.com/p/BRhoE0agu5V/

Acknowledgments

A Special big thanks is due to my beloved wife Ola Mostafa Khalaf, which triggered with her photo the identification search for this new species, and to my beloved daughter Nora Norman Ali Khalaf, who shared with us the diving trips, and to the underwater photographers: Brian Meredith, Gordon T. Smith, Abdulla Al Mehairi and my wife Ola Mostafa Khalaf who gave us the opportunity to enrich our research paper with their magnificent photos of this new Dorid Nudibranch Sea Slug species.

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