Nembrotha purpureolineata is a species of colourful sea slug, a dorid nudibranch, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Polyceridae. Nembrotha rutilans, classified as a separate species until 2008, has now been reclassified as Nembrotha purpureolineata.
Nembrotha purpureolineata was first described from a preserved specimen collected from Abrolhos Islands off Western Australia by O'Donoghue in 1924. The short colour description given is probably enough to identify it to be the same as Nembrotha rutilans (Pruvot-Fol, 1931). The description of this species was done purely from a painting of marine life on the Great Barrier Reef in a book by William Saville-Kent, (1893) and so the earlier name has been given precedence.
Nembrotha purpureolineata is a large pale-bodied dorid. Although the ground colour is a creamy white, this is mostly hidden by a large brown patch which covers most of the notum. Brown stripes usually run down the sides of the body and a brown band is found around the head and anterior part of the mantle. The rhinophores are red to orange-red. The foot is usually edged with purple, though this may only be rather faint. It may reach a total length of 120 mm. This species is easily confused with Nembrotha aurea and Nembrotha chamberlaini. All three species have a similar range of colour variation although N. aurea often has orange patches not present in Nembrotha purpureolineata.
- O'Donoghue, C. H. (1924) "Report on Opisthobranchiata from the Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, with description of a new parasitic copepod. Journal of the Linnean Society, London 35: 521-579, Pls. 27-30.
- Pruvot-Fol A. (1931) "Note 10. Nudibranches Australiens figures par Saville Kent". Bull. Mus. Nat. hist. nat. Paris 2(3): 754-755.
- Pola M., Cervera J. L. & Gosliner T. M. (2008) "Revision of the Indo-Pacific genus Nembrotha (Nudibranchia: Dorididae: Polyceridae), with description of two new species". Scientia Marina 72(1): 145-183. doi:10.3989/scimar.2008.72n1145
- (2 July 1999) Nembrotha rutilans. Sea Slug Forum, accessed 10 December 2009.
- William Saville-Kent W. (1893) The Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Plate 13, fig. 9 (Ancula sp.).
- Nembrotha purpureolineata O'Donoghue, 1924. Sea Slug Forum, accessed 10 December 2009.
- Debelius H. (2001). Nudibranchs and Sea Snails. Frankfurt, Germany: IKAN - Unterwasserarchiv.
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