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Cyerce nigricans
(Pease, 1866)
 
no photo
available
Maximum size: about 50 mm? (Zahl, 1959) (Note 1)

Identification:  This species is velvet-black with smooth cerata. The cerata have orange spots on their faces, a narrow orange marginal band and a broader orange submarginal band. The rhinophores have orange stripes.

Natural history:  Cyerce nigricans is a diurnal species that was probably found by Paul Zahl in the protected waters of Kaneohe Bay. It hasn't been seen in Hawaii since his record.

Distribution:  Oahu: widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.

Taxonomic notes:  Cyerce nigricans was described by Pease from the "Pacific Islands." So, it may have been described from Hawaii. If Pease's animal was not Hawaiian, it was first recorded in Hawaii from Oahu (probably Kaneohe Bay) by Paul Zahl in 1959 (as C. nigra). (Note 2) The animals referred to C. nigricans in Kay, 1979 appear to have been Cyerce pavonina.

Photo: 

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  In Zahl's 1959 National Geographic article, the animal in his Cyerce photo is about 100 mm in length and he states in the caption: "appears natural size." However, that would be extremely large for the species and coral polyps in the background appear to be about twice natural size suggesting a typo.

Note 2:  Photos from elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific may be seen on the Sea Slug Forum.
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