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Bulbaeolidia alba
(Risbec, 1928)
 
Bulbaeolidia alba
Maximum size:  9 mm.

Identification:  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 sp. #1 but is more coarsely mottled with fewer cerata in each arc and less well defined white tips on its cerata.

Natural history:  Bulbaeolidia alba 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.

Distribution:  Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Niihau, French Frigate Shoals and Midway: widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.

Taxonomic notes:  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. 18, 1978.

Photo:  PF: 8 mm: found by CP: Hekili Pt., Maui; Sept. 25, 1990.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  ( )
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