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GALLERY



 
Elysia
sp. #4
 
Elysia sp. #4
Maximum size:  14 mm.

Identification:  This is a cryptic species with a translucent cream body tinted brown by extensive branches of the digestive gland. The parapodia form two or three narrow chimneys that flare outward sharply near their apexes. The apexes of the chimneys are usually margined with bands of minute gray flecks. The head and parapodia are frosted with iridescent cream flecks that are irregularly distributed (though densest dorsally). The body and head are covered with low, scattered papillae.

Natural history:  Elysia sp. #4 is moderately common. It occurs on moderately protected to exposed rocky bottoms as well as in Halimeda kanaloana beds in deeper, sandy habitats. We've recorded it from depths of < 1 to 12 m (< 3 to 39 ft). It appeared to feed on Halimeda discoidea and H. kanaloana in the laboratory but may not retain chloroplasts (based on lack of green color in most). Mature animals are nocturnally active and the parapodia are jerked occasionally while crawling.

Distribution:  Maui and Kauai.

Taxonomic notes:  First recorded in Hawaii from Hekili Point, Maui by CP on Aug. 8, 1991.

Photo:  CP: Whaler's Village, Maui; May 3, 2007.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  ( )
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