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GALLERY

 
Elysia degeneri
Ostergaard, 1955
 
Elysia degeneri
Maximum size:  22 mm.

Identification:  This is a mottled species with low parapodia that meet in a series of irregular folds. It may be distinguished from other cryptic Elysia spp by the orange submarginal band on the interior of the parapodia. Some animals have a few maroon spots on the tips of their rhinophores.

Natural history:  Although seldom seen by divers, Elysia degeneri is a common species found on shallow rocky bottoms. It occurs in protected to moderately exposed locations at depths of 1-12 m (3-39 ft) but is most common at < 2 m (< 6 ft). Mature animals are diurnally active but remain in the open when resting at night. They feed on the algae Udotea (Kay, 1979). Egg masses are bright orange and moderately tightly coiled. A reticulate pattern of cream extra-capsular yolk is usually, but not always, present and is closely associated with the eggs. Hatching occurs in about five days in the laboratory.

Distribution:  Maui, Oahu and Kauai: widely distributed in the western & central Pacific.

Taxonomic notes:  It was first recorded in Hawaii from Waianae, Oahu by Otto Degener on March 26, 1923 and was named for him. (Ostergaard, 1955)

Photo:  CP: 9.5 mm: Hekili Point, Maui; June 2, 2003.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  ( )
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