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brown gills

light & dark

young, 3.8 mm

Unidentified Discodorid #12
Unidentified Discodorid #12
Maximum size:  16 mm.

Identification:  This is a small cream species with fine papillae on its notum. The notum is variably flecked with gray or brown. There are a few white flecks on the dorsal portion of the notum and a row of white flecks around its margin. The rhinophores are brown tipped with cream and the branchia vary from green to brown (Note 1).

Natural history:  Unidentified discodorid #12 is sporadically common in protected to moderately exposed rocky habitats. It is found from the low intertidal to a depth of 3 m (10 ft) but is most common at about 1 m (3 ft). It lays a pale green egg mass that hatches in about six days in the laboratory.

Distribution:  Maui, Oahu and Kauai.

Taxonomic notes:  It was first recorded in Hawaii at Magic Island, Oahu by Scott Johnson on April 18, 1978.

Photo:  CP: 8.5 mm: Hekili Point, Maui; Nov. 7, 2002.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  The branchia of an animal that laid eggs in a dish changed from green before laying to brown after laying. Over the following 3-4 days the branchia changed back to green. Since the egg masses of this species are greenish, perhaps the green pigment in the branchia represents stored antifeedant chemicals (or their precursors) that are deposited with the eggs, then regenerated?
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