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side
 

interior
 

underside
 

with papillae
 

erect chimneys
 

 
Elysia
sp. #9
 
Elysia sp. #9
Maximum size:  8 mm.

Identification:  This is an ornate species with velvet-black patches (sometimes faintly ocellate) on a dark olive background. The margins of the parapodia and the rhinophore tips are covered with iridescent white to yellow flecks. Iridescent blue flecks cluster into patches on the sides of the parapodia and the top of the head while iridescent orange flecks cover the sides of the parapodia (clustering into a submarginal band) and form a Y-shaped band on the rhinophores. The parapodia are short and held in three narrow, pointed chimneys. There are sometimes a few white-tipped papillae on their sides.

Natural history:  Elysia sp. # 9 is a moderately rare species (only seven known animals) found in rocky habitats. We've seen it in moderately exposed to highly exposed areas at depths of < 1.5 m (< 5 ft) and in tide pools. Mature animals are diurnally active. When crawling, it often extends its rhinophores forward and probes the substrate rhythmically in a manner reminiscent of Flabellina bicolor. A 5 mm animal laid a 1.7 mm diameter egg mass. It was orange and tightly coiled with a narrow line of superficial, black-green pigment running along the upper surface of the ribbon. Hatching occurred in about five days in the laboratory.

Distribution:  Maui and Niihau.

Taxonomic notes:  First recorded in Hawaii from Maliko Bay, Maui by PF on May 6, 1999.

Photo:  CP: 8 mm: Nakalele blowhole, Maui; March 21, 2011.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  ( )
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