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Berthellina
sp. #1
 
Berthellina sp. #1
Maximum size:

Identification:  This is an orange, gelatinous species similar to Berthellina delicata except for the presence of widely-spaced clusters of minute white spots on the notum.

Natural history:  Berthellina sp. #1 is known from one animal found in a moderately exposed rocky habitat at a depth of < 6 m (< 20 ft).

Distribution:  Oahu: probably widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.

Taxonomic notes:  Originally misidentified as a pale Berthellina delicata, its DNA proved divergent from that species (Gustav Paulay, pers. com.). On reexamination, it was found to differ from it in having widely-spaced clusters of minute white spots on the notum. Comparable animals appear in photographs from the Indian Ocean, Australia and elsewhere. Live animals were probably first recorded in Hawaii during the 2017 MarineGeo at Kaneohe Bay, Oahu by the Invert Team on May 31, 2017. (Note 1)

Photo:  Invert Team: 2017 MarineGeo; Kaneohe Bay, Oahu; May 31, 2017.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  The pleurobranchid shells listed as "un. sp. #2" could turn out to be from this species. However, with multiple candidates, that will require further work for confirmation.
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