Bulbaeolidia alba (Risbec, 1928)
|Maximum size: 9 mm.
This is a chalk-white aeolid with prominent swellings on its
rhinophores and, usually, an orange-red patch on top of its head.
Often, there is also a narrow red line surrounding the bases of the
rhinophores. It is
similar to Bulbaeolidia paulae but
is more coarsely mottled with
fewer cerata in each arc and less well defined white tips on its cerata.
is a common diurnal species found in protected to moderately
exposed rocky habitats and in Halimeda
kanaloana beds at depths of < 1 to 20 m (< 3 to 65 ft).
When crawling, it jerks its posterior cerata rhythmically. As least to
a human eye, this makes it resemble a sprig of the calcified
green algae Neomeris sp.
waving in the current. Its egg mass is a weakly kinked white spiral.
The eggs hatch in about four days in the laboratory.
Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Niihau, French Frigate Shoals and Midway: widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.
This species is listed on many sites as Aeolidiella alba. It was first recorded in Hawaii at Magic Island, Oahu by Scott Johnson on Jan.
Photo: PF: 8
mm: found by CP: Hekili Pt., Maui; Sept. 25, 1990.
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