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young, 16 mm




Halgerda paliensis
(Bertsch & Johnson, 1982)
Halgerda paliensis
Maximum size:  75 mm (Scott Johnson).

Identification:  Young specimens of this species have white bodies with yellow ridges and a marginal white line. The white line is overridden by short, radial brown lines and there is brown "frosting" in the pits between the ridges. The branchia are lined with brown and tipped with white while the rhinophores are brownish. As they mature, the radial brown lines and brown "frosting" fade while the yellow expands from the ridges to fill the pits between them. Mature animals are bright yellow with the marginal white lines showing only faint interruptions where the radial brown lines occurred.

Natural history:  Halgerda paliensis is a moderately rare species that appears to be more common on Oahu than Maui. On Oahu, Scot Johnson found mature animals under ledges or in small caves in moderately exposed to highly exposed rocky habitats at depths of 3-20 m (10-66 ft). Young animals on Maui and the Big Island were found in rocky habitats at 18 and 41 m (60 and 135 ft).

Distribution:  Big Island, Maui, Oahu and Kauai.

Taxonomic notes:  This is the species listed as Sclerodoris sp. in Bertsch and Johnson, 1981 and as Sclerodoris paliensis in Hoover, 1998. It was first recorded in Hawaii at Makua, Oahu by Scott Johnson on April 13, 1977. It is referred to as the "pali nudibranch" in Hoover, 1998 & 2006. Young animals were formerly listed on this site as "Halgerda cf. elegans."

Photo:  Scott Johnson: Pupukea, Oahu; Aug. 30, 1985.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  ( )
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