Cuthona sp. #22
|Maximum size: 7 mm.
and body of this aeolid are translucent-white. The cerata are
translucent-white with partial, orange-brown subapical bands and white tips.
The ceratal core is darker basally, often appearing as a second
orange-brown spot. The
rhinophores are translucent-white with semicircular annulations. The cephalic tentacles have tips that
are flecked with opaque white. The more slender and more numerous cerata,
lack of white patches on the central notum (in typical animals), lack of solid white tips on
the cephalic tentacles and central appearance of the basal red-orange
ceratal patches distinguish it from Cuthona pinnifera. (Note 1)
Cuthona sp. #22
is a moderately rare aeolid that occurs in moderately protected to
moderately exposed rocky habitats from < 1 to 34 m (< 3 to 110 ft). It lays a white
mass of about one whorl.
Maui and Midway.
Taxonomic notes: It
was first recorded in Hawaii from Midway Atoll by Terry Gosliner and PF in June, 1993.
Photo: CP: 6
mm: Mala Wharf, Maui; April 27, 2005.
Observations and comments:
1: The Midway animal (see photo)
is atypical in having faint patches of white pigment on the notum and the central portions of the cerata. However, it appears to group more closely with this species than with C. pinnifera
due to its slender cerata and other aspects of its coloration. Of
course, there's some chance that it could ultimately fall on the "other
side of the split." Also, we might wind up "re-lumping" the two species
if future DNA work should falsify our current interpretation.