Gymnodoris alba (Bergh, 1877)
|Maximum size: 11 mm.
varies from cream to pale pink with relatively large, dark-orange
spots. The spots may be proportionately larger and lighter in small
cephalic hood is narrow and triangular. The gills are simple and form a
complete circle. The rhinophores are tipped with dark orange. The larger
and darker-orange spots distinguish it from Gymnodoris sp. # 7.
Gymnodoris alba is
a moderately rare species found in protected to exposed
rocky habitats from < 1 to 3 m (< 3 to 20 ft). We've
seen it eat an Elysia degeneri in a
holding dish. (Note 1).
Maui and Oahu: widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.
Taxonomic notes: It
may have first been reported in Hawaii from Maui by PF in June, 1992 but previous confusion with Gymnodoris sp. #7 makes that uncertain. The species listed in Kay, 1979 as G. alba appears to be G. sp. #7 (which has an incomplete circle of gills).
Photo: CP: 11 mm: Kapalua Bay, Maui; March 28, 2004.
Observations and comments:
1: A 4 mm G. alba attacked
an Elysia degeneri about 8 mm
length. It chewed completely through the Elysia's body at the level of the
pericardium, killing it, but consumed only a portion of its body. This
suggests that the species isn't limited to prey that it can fully
engulf. (see photos)