young, 4.5 mm
Bulla peasiana Pilsbry, 1893
|Maximum size: 39 mm
(extrapolated from shell length).
This species has a brown shell densely spotted with cream. Areas of
smaller and larger cream spots may form broad axial bands in some
cases. The animal is cream frosted with brown and flecked with white.
be distinguished from Bulla vernicosa
by its slenderer, more lightly calcified shell as well as by the broad,
translucent areas around its eye spots. (Note 1)
Bulla peasiana is
a moderately rare species found in mixed habitats at moderately exposed
to highly exposed sites. Mature animals occur in depths of 5-15 m
However, dead shells in sand samples suggest that it is more common in Halimeda kanaloana
beds at greater
depths. Dredged shells
from the Bishop Museum extend the depth range to at least 73 m (239
ft). It is nocturnal and buries itself in sand during the day.
Big Island, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, French Frigate Shoals, Pearl & Hermes Reef and Midway.
Kay, 1979 listed this species as a synonym of Bulla vernicosa but it is now
considered distinct (Malaquias & Reid, 2008). The photo in Kay,
1979 labeled Bulla vernicosa
is actually of this species (as, probably, is the photo in Kay &
Schoenberg-Dole, 1991). It's also illustrated as Bulla vernicosa in Johnson, 1982. If was first reported from Hawaii in
Pease, 1860 (as Bulla marmorea) and is listed as Bullaria peasiana in Pilsbry, 1921 and Edmondson, 1946. It's listed as Bulla peaseana in Tinker, 1958
Photo: CP: 13
mm: Airport Beach, Maui; April 2, 2003.
Observations and comments:
1: Shells of this species show strong red fluorescence under ultraviolet light (395 nM).