Cerberilla albopunctata Baba, 1976
|Maximum size: ( )
with long cephalic tentacles and a
broad foot. The cerata are stained with brown and have moderately
medial bands. The head has darker brown bands and there's a patch of
between the cephalic tentacles. There are prominent yellow bars in front of
the rhinophores. The rhinophores become darker with age and the notum
becomes extensively mottled. The cephalic tentacles and sides are
well-defined white spots. Some posterior cerata in mature animals have
brown tips while the ventral cerata may lack yellow bands (particularly in the anterior clusters). In contrast to Cerberilla sp. #1, the central notum is largely exposed, anteriorly.
Natural history: Cerberilla albopunctata is a rare species found on open sand and in Halimeda
kanaloana beds at 7-24 m (23-78 ft). It's been observed
crawling in the open by day. (Note 1) A young animal was observed feeding on an
anemone while in a holding dish. (Note 2).
Distribution: Big Island and Maui: widely distributed in the Western Pacific.
Taxonomic notes: It was first
from Wahikuli Park, Maui by CP on July 15,
Photo: Ralph Turre: Maalaea Bay, Maui; June 21, 2014.
Observations and comments:
Rebecca Bicker photographed her animal, by day, at Maalaea Bay in association with numerous, diurnally active Cerberilla sp. #1. Ralph Turre's photo was probably also taken during the day.
Note 2: When a 7 mm
animal was offered a 3 mm anemone attached to the side of a dish, it
began feeding on it immediately after contact with its cephalic
tentacles. When feeding, it extended its buccal tube and rasped the
column of the anemone while folding its cephalic tentacles along the
sides of its body. It rasped for several "bites" then crawled over the
anemone, turned and repeated the sequence. Several such "attack
sequences" were completed before the anemone was fully consumed. The
use of a repeated, stereotyped "attack sequence" rather than continuous
feeding suggests that it may normally feed on sand dwelling species
that can withdraw or otherwise escape after one or two bites.