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Cuthona perca
(Marcus, 1958)
 
Cuthona perca
Maximum size:  15 mm.

Identification:  The body and cerata of this species are translucent white with opaque white and olive flecks. The finger-shaped, dorso-lateral cerata are arranged in 6-10 transverse rows and, in adult animals, can be unusually elongate. The digestive gland ranges from olive green to brown to black and is visible through the cerata. In Hawaiian specimens, the cerata have two subapical white bands rather than one. The rhinophores are smooth and there is dark pigment on the head in front of them.

Natural history:  Thought to be introduced, Cuthona perca has been found in fouling communities on floating docks and thermal pollution tables at Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. In Hawaii, it is known to feed on the sea anemone, Aiptaisia sp. (Terry Gosliner, pers. com.)

Distribution:  Oahu: Cuthona perca is native to the Caribbean from Florida to Brazil but is now also found in California, New Zealand, Ghana, West Africa and the Mediterranean.

Taxonomic notes:  First recorded in Hawaii from Kaneohe Bay, Oahu by Terry Gosliner in Oct. 1972.

Photo:  Terry Gosliner: Kaneohe Bay, Oahu.
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