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Gymnodoris
citrina
(Bergh, 1875)
 
Gymnodoris citrina
Maximum size:  30 mm.

Identification:  This species is cream with orange spots. It is very similar to Gymnodoris bicolor. However, its genital pore is located well forward of the branchia rather than behind them. Also, the corners of the oral tentacles are more angular in G. citrina than in G. bicolor. Its oral tentacles are much broader than in Gymnodoris sp. #2.

Natural history:  Gymnodoris citrina is a moderately rare species found in moderately protected to exposed rocky habitats from < 1 to 6 m (< 3 to 20 ft). It's a voracious predator of other Gymnodoris spp and is also cannibalistic (see Scott Johnson's account on the Sea Slug Forum). (Note 1)

Distribution:  Maui and Oahu: widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.

Taxonomic notes:  It was first recorded in Hawaii from near Nanakuli, Oahu by Hans Bertsch on June 2, 1977.

Photo:  PF: Ahihi Bay, Maui; Nov. 5, 1999.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  In fall, 1993 a G. citrina ate a smaller Gymnodoris when they were left together in a holding dish. (see photo) On Nov. 5, 1999, a G. citrina ate another Gymnodoris (perhaps also a G. citrina?) on the way back to shore while both were in a collecting vial. Later, the same animal ate a Gymnodoris okinawae while in a holding dish.
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