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Spanish Dancer Video Stock Footage

The Spanish dancer is a large dorid nudibranch which can grow up to a maximum length of 90 cm. However, the commonly observed size is between 20 and 30 cm long. Its body coloration is generally orange-red speckled with multiple small white dots but it also can be uniformly bright red or yellow with red scattered spots. Its body is soft and flattened, the anterior dorsal portion has a pair of retractable rhinophores and the posterior part has six contractile gills inserted independently in the body. The pair of oral tentacles are constituted by a fin flexible membrane provided with large digital lobes. In a normal situation when the animal is crawling, the edges of its mantle are curled inwards creating a peripheral blister. If the animal is disturbed, it unfolds its edges and can swim through contractions and undulations of the body to move away from the disturbing element. Its common name, Spanish dancer, comes from this particular defense. Juveniles are rather whitish to yellowish with multiple purplish points and orange rhinophores and gills.

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Animalia: Mollusca: Nudibranchia: Gastropoda: Hexabranchidae: Hexabranchus sanguineus

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