Taxon profile


Khorfakkan White Dorid Nudibranch
Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017

kingdom Animalia - animals »  phylum Mollusca - mollusks »  class Gastropoda - gastropods »  order Opistobranchia - opisthobranchs »  family Calycidorididae »  genus Diaphorodoris

Other names

= Ola Khalaf's Nudibranch

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 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 wife 'Ola Mostafa Esmail Khalaf'. It was a special gift after 20 years of marriage.


Diaphorodoris olakhalafi grows to about 5 mm long.


This species feeds on encrusting colonial bryozoans.

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


The species Diaphorodoris olakhalafi lives 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.


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.

Links and literature

EN 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 149, pp 31-47 [as Diaphorodoris olakhalafi Khalaf, 2017]

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