young, 4 mm
Elysia sp. #4
|Maximum size: 14 mm.
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
of the chimneys are usually margined with bands of minute gray flecks.
Rarely, the chimneys may have more elaborately folded margins. (Note 1)
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 to moderately long, scattered papillae. The
interior of the parapodia is decorated with iridescent green
flecks and, rarely, the body may be violet or have violet patches.
Elysia sp. #4 is
moderately common. It occurs on
moderately protected to exposed rocky bottoms as well as in Halimeda kanaloana beds in deeper,
habitats. We've recorded it from depths of < 1 to 12 m (< 3 to 39
appeared to feed on Halimeda
and H. kanaloana in the
laboratory but may not retain chloroplasts (based on lack of green
color in most). Mature
animals are usually nocturnally active and the parapodia are jerked
occasionally while crawling.
Big Island, Maui and Kauai.
It was first
in Hawaii from Hekili Point, Maui by CP on Aug. 8, 1991.
Whaler's Village, Maui; May 3, 2007.
Observations and comments:
1: The one clear example of this feature may be due to regeneration after an injury or disease rather than being within the typical range of variation.