young, 3.8 mm
Goniobranchus verrieri (Crosse, 1875)
|Maximum size: 13 mm.
is usually completely white except for a red-orange
marginal band and a yellow submarginal band (often irregular). Occasional animals may have faint orange spots
on the notum. (Note 1) Its soft body is convexly
is a moderately common, nocturnal species found in protected to
moderately exposed rocky habitats from the
low intertidal to 11 m (36 ft).
It may also be found in Halimeda
kanaloana beds to depths of at least 15 m (49 ft). It conceals
itself under rocks during the day or rests in the open on
shaded cliffs. Scott Johnson reports
it feeding on a black sponge at Magic Island on Oahu. It lays a pale
orange egg mass and each egg has a small
bright “cap” of extra-capsular yolk. In an egg mass laid in the
laboratory, the extra-capsular yolk was absorbed by the end of the
second day of development and hatching occurred in about five days.
Maui, Oahu, Kauai and Midway: widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.
was listed as Chromodoris
marginata Pease, 1860 in Kay, 1979 and Chromodoris trimarginata Winkworth, 1946 in Kay & Young, 1969. Hawaiian animals
differ from those found elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific in lacking dark
pigment on the rhinophores and gills.
However, they may still be distinguished from Goniobranchus albonares
in having proportionately smaller rhinophores that are held in a more
lateral position. Also, some Hawaiian animals have spotting on the
notum, something that is absent in G. albonares. It was probably first
from Hawaii in Pease, 1860 (as Doris marginata). Previously, it was referred to as Chromodoris verrieri. Given the color differences from other Indo-Pacific populations of G. verrieri,
there's some chance that the Hawaiian population may ultimately turn
out to be a distinct species.
Severns: 6 mm: found by PF off Makena, Maui; Oct. 12, 1987.
Observations and comments:
1: We've found spotted and
unspotted animals paired in the field.