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Diversidoris flava
(Eliot, 1904)
 
Diversidoris flava
Maximum size:  30 mm.

Identification:  The body, gills and rhinophores of this dorid are bright yellow and there is a thin red line at the edge of the mantle. The red line widens slightly at intervals giving it a weakly scalloped appearance. Midway along the body, many specimens have a large fold in the mantle margin giving the species its characteristic hour-glass shape.

Natural history:  Diversidoris flava is a common, diurnal species that usually rests in the open at night. It's typically found on or near its yellow sponge prey (Hyrtios sp.) in protected to highly exposed rocky habitats at depths of < 1 to 25 m (< 3 to 82 ft), most commonly on shaded vertical surfaces. Rarely, it occurs in tide pools. Often, it may be seen nestling in holes in the sponge that it creates as it feeds, sometimes in pairs or clusters. Bright yellow egg ribbons are laid near or on the sponge. An egg mass laid in the laboratory took about 6.5 days to hatch.

Distribution:  Big Island, Maui, Oahu and Lanai: widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.

Taxonomic notes:  The name means "yellow." It's listed as Noumea flava and is referred to as the "yellow noumea" in Hoover, 2006.

Photo:  Mike Roberts: Makena, Maui; 2007.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  ( )
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