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Cuthona
sp. #21

 
Cuthona sp. #21
Maximum size:  3 mm.

Identification:  This animal is light brown frosted with iridescent, violet-blue flecks. There are a few yellow-white spots on the rhinophores and cephalic tentacles. The body, rhinophores, cephalic tentacles and cerata contain elaborate ramifications of the digestive gland. In the cerata, they form flattened patches running along the sides.

Natural history:  The one known Cuthona sp. #21 was found in rubble at a depth of  6-12 m (20-40 ft) at a moderately exposed site. The elaborate ramifications of the digestive gland suggest that it may retain zooxanthellae.

Distribution:  Kauai.

Taxonomic notes:  First recorded in Hawaii from Koloa Landing, Kauai by CP on May 26, 2010.

Photo:  CP: 3 mm: Koloa Landing, Kauai; May 26, 2010.
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