Elysia sp. #12
|Maximum size: 4 mm.
Identification: This species is
translucent cream with white flecks, scattered violet ocelli with
orange centers and iridescent orange flecks. Green branches of the
show through the body wall and the parapodia are low with two chimneys.
There are faint white scallops on the sides of the parapodia in some animals. The eye
better developed than in most Elysia
spp, extending downward into the underlying tissue as lozenge-shaped
masses. (Note 1)
Elysia sp. #12 is a rare
species. The only three
animals known were found in moderately exposed to exposed rocky
habitats at depths of 1-9 m (3-30 ft). When held, they showed
strong positive phototaxis.
Maui and Kauai.
It was first
recorded in Hawaii from Hekili Point, Maui by CP on March 30,
2.8 mm: Honokohau, Maui; Aug. 6, 2002.
Observations and comments:
1: The lozenge-shaped, "three
dimensional" eye spots that are partially shaded dorsally by white
pigment (in all three animals) hint at a relatively complex use of
visual cues by this species. The unusually strong positive phototaxis
observed in dishes also supports that suggestion.