symbiodinium

SKETCHY SUNDAY: Symbiodinium spp.

Corals have developed an important symbiotic relationship with photoautotrophic dinoflagellates, i.e. zooxanthellae, which live inside coral tissue for protection and inorganic nutrients. In return, the algae produce a photosynthate that provides the coral with energy to complete growth, reproduction, and calcification processes.

This is a drawing of an individual Symbiodinium, which populate a coral along the lines of hundreds of thousands per square centimeter.

Drawing by Stacy Peltier, 2013

Pteraeolidia ianthina

…a strikingly marked species of of Facelinid nudibranch which is known to occur among shallow coral reefs throughout the Western Pacific Ocean, from Hawaii to the Philippines, to the waters of northeast Australia and parts of New Zealand. It is also known from the Red Sea. P. iathina is known to feed almost exclusively on hydroids, generally those which contain Symbiodinium spp. These dinoflagellates are “farmed” in the digestive diverticula of P. iathina allowing the sugars they photosynthesize to be used. 

Classification

Animalia-Mollusca-Gastropoda-Heterobranchia-Euthynerua-Nudipleura-Nudibranchia-Dexiarchia-Cladobranchia-Aeolidida-Aeolidioidea-Facelinidae-Pteraeolidia-P. ianthina 

Image: Richard Ling