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GALLERY



 
Berthella
sp. #1
 
Berthella sp. #1
Maximum size:  40 mm (Scott Johnson).

Identification:  This pleurobranchid is cream to pale red-violet with scattered white flecks. Its notum is covered with very small tubercles ringed with darker brown pigment at their bases. There is usually a dark red-brown spot in the center of the notum although it varies in size and may be absent in some animals. Unlike most pleurobranchids, it has a firm, leathery texture.

Natural history:  Berthella sp. #1 is a moderately common nocturnal species that can be found in moderately exposed to highly exposed rocky habitats. It occurs at depths of  4-15 m (13-49 ft) and is often seen in pairs under rocks during the day. A 16 mm animal laid a two-whorl, cream, collar-shaped egg mass that hatched in about five days in the laboratory.

Distribution:  Big Island, Maui, Oahu and Kauai: widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.

Taxonomic notes:  This species is similar to the Atlantic Berthella africana (Pruvot-Fol, 1953) and is currently listed on the Sea Slug Forum under the name Pleurobranchus caledonicus Risbec, 1928. It seems likely that further work will confirm it as the latter species but place it in the genus Berthella as suggested on the forum yielding the combination Berthella caledonica). It was first recorded in Hawaii at Pupukea, Oahu by Scott Johnson on May 27, 1978 and is illustrated in Johnson, 1982 as "Berthella sp. 2".

Photo:  PF: large spot: Molokini Islet, Maui; Aug., 1992.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  ( )
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