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Pregnant Nudibranch.jpg
Orchid Island, Taiwan -- The nudibranch Hypselodoris apolegma laying an egg ribbon containing thousands of eggs on coral branches.<br />
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Nudibranchs lay their eggs in every size, color and shape imaginable from an oviduct located on the right side of their body. In some instances a  single ribbon can contain up to 25 million eggs!<br />
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Most often the egg ribbon takes the shape of coils or spirals, but sometimes they appear as tangled masses of strings, chains of beads, or cylinders.<br />
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The egg ribbon is usually laid counterclockwise, which allows the nudibranch to achieve a better spiral shape and also to anchor the egg mass with its foot.<br />
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Some species produce eggs that are caustic or even toxic. These egg masses are usually brightly colored as a warning to potential predators.<br />
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Hypselodoris apolegma is considered a part of the Hypselodoris bullocki complex, but has recently been described as a distinct species.<br />
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Its brilliant pinkish-purple body color, yellow-orange gills and rhinophores, and the diffuse white mantle make it easy to recognize. At the edge of the mantle the border is solid white, but inside this is a region of varying width in which the white forms a reticulated pattern gradually merging into the pinkish purple.