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paulae Carmona, Paula, Gosliner & Cervera, 2017
Bulbaeolidia paulae
Maximum size:  30 mm (Kay, 1979).

Identification:  This species is similar in appearance to Bulbaeolidia alba with bulbous swellings on its cerata. However, it differs from that species in having more cerata in each arc and is usually darker in color. The body is cream, mottled with brown, particularly on the head. There are well-defined white tips on its cerata.

Natural history:  Bulbaeolidia paulae has been recorded from tide pools, solution benches and fringing reefs. (Kay, 1979) It was common on Oahu in the 1960s but has seldom been seen in recent years (Terry Gosliner, pers. com.). On Maui, we've seen it only in Kahului Harbor at a depth of < 4 m (< 13 ft). Although it may contract its posterior cerata slightly, it does not erect them into a crest rhythmically in the manner of B. alba. It lays a kinked, white egg mass. A partial egg mass (disturbed while laying) took about five days to hatch in the laboratory.

Distribution:  Maui, Oahu, and Kauai.

Taxonomic notes:  This is the species listed as Spurilla japonica in Kay, 1979, Gosliner, 1980 and Kay & Schoenberg-Dole, 1991. It was first recorded in Hawaii from Kahuku, Oahu by Allison Kay in Dec., 1962. It's listed on some sites as Aeolidiella japonica. It represents "Aeolidiella sp. B" in Carmona, et. al., 2013.

Photo:  CP: 14 mm: Kahului Harbor, Maui; Oct. 15, 2009.

Observations and comments:

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