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Aplysia
sp. #1
 
Aplysia sp. #1
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 sp. #1 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.

Distribution:  Maui, Oahu and Kauai: may be more widely distributed in the western & central Pacific. (Note 1)

Taxonomic notes:  It's listed as Aplysia pulmonica Gould, 1852 in Kay, 1979 as well as Hoover, 1998 & 2006. It's referred to as the "pulmonate sea hare" in Hoover, 1998 & 2006.

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

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  Some animals illustrated on the Sea Slug Forum (and elsewhere) as Aplysia kurodai (Baba, 1937) or P. pulmonica may be this species.
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