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Aplysia
reticulata Eales, 1960
 
Aplysia reticulata
Maximum size:  35 mm.

Identification:  This sea hare is a cream animal densely reticulated with brown lines and blotches that become larger near the edges of the parapodia, rhinophores and cephalic tentacles.

Natural history:  Aplysia reticulata is a rare species reported from the outer face of solution benches and fringing reefs. (Watson, 1973) It's found in as little at 1 m (3 ft) (Hoover, 1998) and also occurs on floating debris in open water. Unlike other Hawaiian Aplysia spp., it can swim by flapping its parapodia. (Note 1)

Distribution:  Maui, Oahu and Kauai: may be more widely distributed in the western & central Pacific. (Note 2)

Taxonomic notes:  It's listed as Aplysia pulmonica Gould, 1852 in Kay, 1979 as well as Hoover, 1998 & 2006 (changed to "Aplysia sp." in 2019 printing). It's referred to as the "pulmonate sea hare" in Hoover, 1998 & 2006. It was formerly listed as "Aplysia sp. #1" and is the same as "Aplysia sp." on page 389 in Gosliner, et. al., 2018. (Note 3)

Photo:  PF: 35 mm: found on drifting net; off Makena, Maui; Sept. 8, 1999.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  To see a video of one swimming (by Anuschka Faucci) go here.
 

Note 2:  Some animals illustrated on the Sea Slug Forum (and elsewhere) as Aplysia kurodai (Baba, 1937) or A. pulmonica may be this species.
 

Note 3:  ID provided by Matt Nimbs.
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